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Theological Seminary, 

Case, 1^!?5SX.«^. ^^,, , 

Book, \J t^ 1 ^o 




b^cr^d Tiieo/yl 
of the ■ 


%^ -^^'■ 

%-^^fX:^ ,^ 

, iiimiii 




Containing an Account of the 

Original of the Earth, 

And of all the 

General Changes which it 
hath already undergone, or Is to undergo, 
till the Consummation of all Things. 

In Two Volumes. 


Concerning the DELUGE^ 


Concerning PARADISE. 


Concerning the Burning of the World, 

AND * 

Concerning the New HeaveK^s and New Earth. 

With a Review of the THEORY, and of 
its Proofs j efpecially in reference to Scripture. 

The Fourth Edition*^ 

In which is added, "]" ^ "J^ U"^ y- r-\ <s ^ 

The AUTHOR^i Defence of the Wo^K.from 
the Exceptions of Mr, Warren- 


An O D E to the Author by Mr. Addifon. 

LONDON : Printed for John Hooke, at the Flowr-de- 
/«rf againft St, Dunflan^s-Church in Fleer-ftreet. MdcCxix. 


Ad Infigniflimum Vinirn 


Sacr^ Theorise Telluris Autorem* 

ON ufitatiim carminisalitem; 
BuRNETTE, pofcis, non humiJ 
les modos : 
Vulgare pledrum, languidisque 
Refpuis officium camoen^^ 
Tu mixta rerumXemina confcius, 
Molemque cernis diflbciabilem, 
Terramque concretam, & latentem 
Oceanum gremio capaci : . 
Dum veritatem quserere pertinax 
' Ignota pandis, follicitus parum 
Utcunque ftet commune vulgi 
Arbitrium & popularis error. 
Auditur in gens continuo fragor, 
Illapfa tellus lubrica deferit 
Fundamina, & compage fradil 
Suppofitas gravis urget undas# 

A • Impuirn 

IV ♦ "Ad Infigniffimmn Virwfi 

Impulfus erumpit medius liquor,' 
Terras aquarum effufa licentia 
Claudit viciflim ; has inter orbis 
Reliquiae fluitant prioris. 
Nunc & reclufo carcere lueidam 
Balarna fpeftat folis imaginem, 
Stellafque miratur natante's, . 
Et tremulse (imulacra luna?. 
Quse pompa vocum non imitabilis ! 
Qualis calefcit fpiritus ingeni ! 
Ut toUis undas ! ut frementem 
Diluvii reprimis tumultum ! 
Qois tarn valenti peftore ferreus 
Ut non tremifcens & timido pede 
Incedat, orbis dum dolofi 
Detegis inftabiles ruinas ? 
Quin h^c cadentum fragmina montiufn 
l>Jatura vultumfumere fimplicem 
Coget refingens, in priorem 
Mox iterum reditura formam: 
IStimbis rubentem fulphureis Jovem 
Cernas^ ut udis fevit atrox Hyems 
Incendiis, commune mundo 
Et populis meditata Buftum ! 
Nudus liquentes plorat Athos nives, 
Et mox liquefcens ipfe adamantinum 
Fundit cacumen, dum per imas 
Saxa fluunt refoluta valles. 


D. Tho. Burnettum. y 

Jamque alta coeli moenia corruunt, 
Et veftra tandem pagina (proh nefas ! ) 
BuRNETTE, veftra augebit ignes, 
Heu focio peritura mundo. 
Mox ^qua tellus, mox fubitus viror 
Ubique rident : En te^etem Globum I 
En l^ta vernantis Favoni 
Flamina, perpetuofque flores ! 
O pedus ingens ! D animum gravem; 
Mundi capacem ! fi bonus auguror3 
.Te, noftra quo tellus fuperbit^i 
Accipiet renovata civem. 

Jo. Addifop, eCoU. Magd. Oxon. i6^gl 


A N 

O D E 

To the Learned 

Dr. Thomas Burnet, 

AUTHOR of The Sacred Theory 

of the E A R T H. 


No common Height the Mufe mufi; 
That wou d thy Fame in Numbers try s 
Nor dare in humble Verfe adore. 
But rife with Thee above the Sky : 
You ask a bold and lofty ftrain, 
'/Vnd what we meanly ling, difdain; 

11. Ton 

"An ODE to Dr. Burnet. vu 


You Nature's early Birth explore; 
Her difunited Frame; jdifclofe, 

From whatmix'd Caufe, and jarring Power^ 
The Jnfant^^arth to Being rofe : 
H0W5 in her circling. Bofom deep 
Th' knprifoned Se.Uy aad bounded Deep. 

ilefolv'd great hidden Truths to trace. 
Each learned Fable you defpife ; 

'/Vnd, pleas'd, enjoy the fanvd Difgrace, 

To thinkj and tea(on^.fingly wife: 

Each Tale rejed: by Time allow'd. 

And nobly leave the erring. Crowd* 


Hark! from her weak Foundations tore^ 
The biirfting Earth afunder flies. 

And, prop'd by yielding Seas no more. 
The dreadful Crack alarms the Skies: 
,Whofe Arches rent, their Weight forego. 
And plunge in opening Gulphs below, 

Now ruflilng from their watry Bed, 
The drmng Waves difdain a Shore ; 

And with refiftlefs Force o'erfpread 
That Orb, which check'd their Rage before ] 
While fcatter'd o're the foamy Tide, 
411 Nature s floating Ruins ride. 

A 4 yi. Nc\v 

vlii yin ODE ib Dr. B u r it e tI 

t^ew Heavens difclos'd, the Silver Train 

The Sun beneath their Waves admire j 
And gliding thro' the enlight'ned Main, 

Gaze at each Star'^ diminilh'd Eire. 

Well pleas'd, the Moon's bright Orb furveyi 

Trembling along their Azure Play. • 
How ftrong each Line^eachThought how greats 

With what an Energy you rife ! 
How'fliines eadi Fancy ? with what Heat 

Does every glowing Page furprize ? 
.While fpouting Oceans upward flow^ 

Or fink again to Caves below. 
As Nature's Doom you tbvis impart. 

The moving Scene we fcarce endure | 
But, Shrinking, ask our anxious Heart, 

If on our iEarth we tread fecure ? 

WhofeFate, unmov'd, as you perfue^ 

We ftart and tremble but to yiew, 
Yet thefe Remains we now behold. 

Which Tow'ring once in Hills arofe ^ 
Shall from a new and fairer Mould 

A new and fairer Earth compofe : 

Which to her Fate fliall Owe her Bloom^ 

And rife more lovely from her Tomb, 

% Yet 

'An ODE to Df, Burnet, gg 

Yet fee This beauteous Fabrick end, 
Tkis Second Pride of Fate expire ; 

[While gufhing from the Clouds defccnd 
The Burning Storm, the Liquid Fire ; 
Where Worlds and Men confuming lie^ 

" And in One bright Confufion Die. 


Their naked Tops the Hills admire. 
No longer white with fleecy Dew; 

iAnd as they moan the fpreading Fire, 
Add to the Flames diflblving too : 
While Rocks from melting Mountains flow^ 
And roll in Streams thro* Vales below, 

And now the'Kindling Orbs on high 
All Nature's mournful End proclaim ; 

[When thy great W p R k, (Alas ! ) muft die; 
And feed the rich vidorious Flame : 
Give Vigour to the wafting Fire, 
And with the World too soon expire. 

Once more her Bloom thp Earth renews, 
Smooth'd into Green, eternal Vales ; 

Her Glebe ft ill moift with fragrant Dews, 
Her Air ftill rich with balmy Gales : 
No Change her Flowry Seafons breed, 

* put Springs retire^ and Springs fucceed. 

XIV. Oh 

f :An D E iii\T)r. Bv R n ex; 

Oh fay, Tto Great, Tk^^Sacfed Name; 

What Scenes Tiiy thoughtful Breaft employi 
Capacious as that inighty Frame 

You raife with Eafe, with Eafe deftroy ? 
Each Worldlhall boaft thy Fame ^ and You; 
^ho charm'd the Oi. p^ fliould grace the^ 

T O T H E 

K I N G s 


Excellent Majefty. 


E W-found Lands and Coun- 
tries accrew to the Prince 
whofe Subject makes the 
firft Difcoveiy; and having retrieved 
a World that had been loft for fome 


The Epiflle Dedicatory^ 

thoufands of Years, out of the Mc^' 
mory of Man, and the Records of 
Time, I thought it my Duty to lay- 
It at your Majefty's Feet. 'Twill not 
enlarge your Doniinions, *tis paft and 
gone ; nor dare I fay it will enlarge 
your Thoughts j but I hope it may 
gratify your Princely ^riofity to 
read the Defcription of it, and fee 
the Fate that attended it, 

We have ftill the broken Materi- 
als of that firft World, and walk up- 
on its Ruins j while it ftood, there 
was the Seat of Paradife^ and the 
Scenes of the Golden ^ge j when it 
fell, it made the Deluge ; and this 
unfhapen Earth 'we now inhabit, is 
the Form it was found in when' the 
Waters had retired, and the dry Land 
appeared. Thefe things, Sir, I pro- 


The Bpiftle Dedicatory. 

pofc and prefume to prove in the 
following Treatife, which I willing- 
ly fubmic to your Majefty's Judg- 
ment and Cenfure ; being very well 
fatisfied, that if I had fought a Pa- 
tron in all the Lift of Kings, your 
Contemporaries, or in the Roll of 
your Nobles of cither Order, I could 
not have found a more competent 
Judge in a Speculation of this Na- 
ture. Your Majefty's Sagacity, and 
happy Genius for natural Hiftory, 
for Obfervations and Remarks upon 
the Earth, the Heavens, and the' Sea, 
is a better Preparation for Inquiries 
of this kind, than all the dead Learn- 
ing of the Schools. 

Sir, This Theory, in the full Ex- 
tent of it, is to reach to the laft Pe- 
riod of the Earth, and the End of 


The Epiflle Dedicatory. 

all Things ; but this firft Volume 
takes in only Co much as is already 
paft, from the Origin of the Earth, 
to this prefent Time and State of 
Nature. To defcribe in like man- 
ner the Changes and Revolutions of 
Nature that are to come, and fee 
thorough all fucceeding Ages, will 
require a fteady and attentive Eye, 
and a Retreat from the Noife of the 
"World ; efpecially fo to conne(ft the 
Parts, and prefent them all under 
one View, that we may fee, as in a 
Mirror, the feveral Faces of Nature, 
from firft to laft, throughout all the 
Circle of Succeffions. 

Your Majefty having been pleas'd 
to give Eneoura2;ement to this Tran- 
{lation, I humbly prefent it to your 
2;raciOus Acceptance. And 'tis our 


The Epiftle De^cAtotiy; 

Intereft, as well as Duty, >in DHqui- 
fitioils of this Nature, to addre(i 
our felves to your Majefty, as the 
Defender of our Philofophkk Liber- 
ties^ againft thofc that would ufurp 
upon the fundamental Privilege and 
Birth-right of Mankind, The free Vfe 
pf Reafm. Your Majefty hath always 
appeared the Royal Patron of Learn- 
ing and the Sciences ; and 'tis fuit- 
able to the Grcatnefs of a princely 
Spirit to favour and promote what- 
foever tends to die Enlarsiement of 
humane Knowledge, and the Im- 
provement of humane Nature. To 
be Good and Gracious, and a Lover 
of Knowledge, are, methinks^ two 
of the moft amiable Thinss in this 
Wiorltl : Anid fhac yoii|: Majefty may 
always bear that Charader in prefent 
md future Ages ; and after a long 


The Epiflle Dedicatory/ 

and profpcrous Reign enjoy a blefled 
Immortality, is the conftant Prayer 

Tour Majesty's 

Mofi HumUe and mofi 

Obedient Subject, 

Thomas Burnet. 




A V I N G given an Account of this 

H'^ whole Work in the firft Chapter, 
^ f and of the Method of either Book, 
whereof thi^ Volume confifts, id 
their proper Places, there remains 
not much to be faid here to the Reader. This 
Theory of the Earth may be call'd Sacred^ 
becaufe it is not the common Phyliology of 
the Earth, or of the Bodies that compofe it^ 
but refpeft^ only tlie great Turns of Fate, and 
the Revolutions of our natural World ; fuch as 
are taken notice of in the Sacred Writings^ and 
are truly the Hinges upon which the Provi- 
dence of this Earth moves j- or wnereby it opens' 
and fliuts the feveral fucceflive Scenes where- 
of it is made up* This Englijh Edition is the 

a fame 

xviii The PREFACE. 
fame in Subftance with the Latin^ though, I 
confefs, 'tis not fo properly a Tranflation, as 
a new Compofition upon the fame Ground, 
there being feveral additional Chapters in it, 
and feveral new-moulded. 

As every Science requires a peculiar Genius, 
fo likewife there is a Genius peculiarly impro- 
per for every one : And as to Philofophy^which 
is the Contemplation of the Works of Nature, 
and the Providence that governs them, there 
is no Temper or Genius, in my Mind, fo im- 
proper for it, as that which we call a mean 
and narrow Sprit i and which the Greeks call 
Littlenefs of Soul This is a Defed: in the firft 
Make of fome Mens Minds, which can fcarce 
ever be corrected afterwards, either by Learn- 
ing or Age. And as Souls that are made 
little and incapacious cannot enlarge their 
Thoughts to take in any great Compafs of 
Times or Things j fo what is beyond their 
Compafs, or above their Reach, they are apt 
to look upon as fantaftical, or at leaft would 
willingly have it pafs for fuch in the World. 
Now as there is nothing fo great, fo large, fo 
immenfe, as the Works of Nature, and the 
Methpds of Providence, Men of this Com- 
plexion muft needs be very unfit for the Con- 
templation of them. Who would fet a pur- 
blind Man at the Top of the Mart to difcover 
Land ? Or upon an high Tower to draw a 
Landskip of the Country round" about? For 
the fame Reafon, fhort-fighted Minds are un- 
fit to make Philofophers, vviiofe proper Bufi- 


The PREFACE. xk 

nefs it is to difcover and defcribe in compre- 
henfive Theories the Thcenomejia of the World, 
and the Caufes of them. 

This Original Difeafe of the Mind is feldom 
cur'd by Learning, which cures many others ; 
like a Fault in the firft Stamina of the Body^ 
it cannot eafily be redified aftei^wards. 'Tis a 
great Miftake to think that every fort of 
Learning makes a Man a competent Judge of 
Natural Speculations : We fee unhappy Ex- 
amples to the contrary amongft the Ciiriftian 
Fathers, and particularly in St. Auftin^ who 
was unqueftionably a Man of Parts and Learn- 
ing ,• but interpofing in a Controverfy where 
his Talent did notlie^ Ihow'd his Zeal againft 
the Antipodes to very ill purpofe, though he 
drew his Reafons partly from Scripture. And 
if within a few Years, or in the next Genera- 
tion, it fliould prove as certain and demon- 
ftrable, that the Earth is monfd^ as it is now, 
that there are Antipodes ; thofe that have been 
zealous againft it, and engag'd the Scripture 
in the Controverfy, would have the fame Rea- 
fonto repent of their ForwardnefsjthatSt. y^'/^- 
ftin would have now, if he was alive, 'Tis 
a dangerous thing to engage the Authority of 
Scripture in Difputes about the Natural World, 
in Oppofition to Reafon j left Time, which 
brings all Things to Light, fliould difcover that 
to be evidently filfe which we had made Scrip- 
ture to affert : And I remember St. Auflin^ in 
his Expoiition upon Genefu^ hath laid down a 
Rule to this very purpofe, though he had the 

a 2 Unhap- 


Unhappinefs, it feems, not to follow it always 
himfelK The Reafon alfo, which he gives 
there for his Rule, is very good and fubftan- 
tial : For, faith he *, // the Unbelie^jers or Phi- 
lofophers fiall certainly know vs to be 7niliaken^ 
and to err in thofe things that concern the Natu- 
ral JVorld^ and fee that we alledge our (Sacred) 
Booky for fuch 'vain Opi?nons-y how Jhall they he- 
lieve thofe fame Books when they tell them of 
the RESURRECTION oftheDead, and 
the World to coine^ if they find them to be falla- 
cioufly writ in fuch things as lie within their cer- 
tain Knowledge ? 

We are not to fuppofe that any Truth con- 
cerning the Natural World can be an Enemy 
to Religion ; for Truth cannot be an Enemy 
to Truth, God is not divided againft him- 
k\(; and therefore we ought not upon that 
Account to condemn or cenfure what we have 
not examin'd or cannot diiprove , as thofe 
that are of this narrow Spirit we are fpeaking 
of, are very apt to do. Let every thing be 
try'd and examin'd in the firft Place, whether 
it be True or Falfe ^ and if it be found falfe, 
'tis then to be confider'd, whether it be fuch 

a Falfity 

* Gen, ad lit, lib. i. c, 19. Tlentmcfue accidit -ut alhttid de 
Terray de Ca:!o, de ceteris hujus mundi eJemcntis^ ^c, Cwn 
emm quennunm Chrifilanorum in ed re cjuam optirne mrunt, er- 
rare deprehendevintj t^P "janam fententiam fuarn ex mjlris lihvis 
pjfevere^ quo paHo illis llhris credit iiri fiint de Uefurrevi'ione ^loV' 
ttiOYum^ cT fie Vit^ ^ierfic? regnocfue ccclcrumy ouotjdo de his re- 
hus quas jayfi e^periri vel indnbitatis nurueris peni^^re potn^u?ity 
fallaciter^Ht.nevint rjfe cQtifcriptos ? 

The P R E FJ CE. xxi 

a Falfity as is prejudicial to Religion or no. 
But for every new Theory that is proposM, to 
be alarm'd, as if all Religion was foiling about 
our Ears, is to make the World fufpett that we 
are very ill affur'd of the Foundation it ftands 
upon. Befides, do not all Men complain, even 
thefe as well as others, of the great Ignorance 
of Mankind ? how little we know, and how 
much is ftill unknown ? and can we ever know 
more, unlefs fomethingnewbedifcover'd ? It 
cannot be old when it comes firft to light, when 
firft invented, and firft propos'd. If a Prince 
fliould complain of the Poornefs of his Exche- 
quer, and the Scarcity of Money in his King- 
dom, would he be angry with his Merchants-^ 
if they brought him home a Cargo of good 
Bullion, or a Mafs of Gold out of a foreign 
Country ? and give this Reafon only for it. Me 
would have no new Siher ; neither fliould any 
be current in his Dominions but what had his 
own Stamp and Image upon it : How fliould 
this Prince or his People grow rich ? To com- 
plain of Want, and yet refufe all Offers of 
a Supply, looks very fuUen^ or very fen- 

I might mention alfo upon this Occafion 
another Genius and Difpofition in Men, which 
often makes them improper for philofophical 
Contemplations i not fo much, it may be, from 
the Narrownefs of their Spirit and Underftand- 
ing, as becaufe they .will not take time to ex- 
tend them. I mean Men of Wit and Parts, 
but of fliort Thoughts and little Meditation, 

a 3 and 

Kxii The PREFACE. 

and that are apt to diftruft every Thing for a 
Fancy or Fi(3:ion that is not the Diftate of 
Senfe, or made oiit immediately to their Sen- 
fes. Men of this Humour and Charafter call 
fuch Theories as theie philofophick Romances, 
and think themfelves witty in the Exprtflion ; 
they allow them to be pretty Amufements of 
the Mind, but without Truth or Reality. I 
am afraid if an Angel fliould write the Theo- 
ry of the Earth, they would pafs the fame 
Judgment upon it ; where there is Variety of 
Parts in a due Contexture, with fomething of 
furprizing Aptnefs in the Harmony and Cor- 
refpondency of them, this they call a Ro- 
mance, but fuch Romances muft all Theo- 
ries of Nature and of Providence be, and muft 
have every Part of that Churacfter with Ad- 
vantage^ if they be well reprefented. There 
is in them, as I may fo fay, a Plot or Myjiery 
purfued thro' the whole Work, and certain 
grand Iffues or Events upon which the reft de- 
pend, or to which they are fuboi-dinate ; but 
thefe Things w^e do not make or contrive our 
felves, but find and dilcover them, being made 
already by the great Author and Governor of 
the Univerie : And when they are clearly dif- 
cover'd, w^ell digefted, and well reafon'd in 
every Part, there is, methinks, more of Beau- 
ty in luch a Theory, at leaft a more mafcu- 
Jine Beauty, than in any Poem or Romance ; 
and that folid Truth that is at the Bottom, 
gives a Satisfadion to the Mind, that it can ne- 
ver have from any Fiction, how artificial fo- 
pver it be. 


The PREFACE. xxiii 

To enter no further upon this Matter, Yis 
enough to obferve, that when we make Judg« 
ments and Cenfures upon general Prefumptions 
and Prejudices, they are nude rather from the 
Temper and Model of our own Spirits, than 
from Reafon ,• and therefore, if we would 
neither impofe upon our felves, nor others, we 
muft lay aiide that lazy and fallacious Method 
of cenfuring by the Lump, and muft bring 
things clofe to the Teft of Tr/^e or Falfe^ to ex- 
plicit Proof and Evidence ; and whofoever 
makes fuch Objedions againft an l^ypothefis^ 
hath a Right to be heard^ let his Temper and 
Genius be what it will. Neither do we intend 
that any thing we have faid here ftiould be un- 
derftood in another Senfe. 

To conclude. This Theory being writ with 
a fincere Intention to juftify the Dodrines of 
the Univerfal Deluge^ and of a Paradifiacal 
State, and proted them from the Cavils of 
thofe that are no Well-wifhers to facred Hifto- 
ry, upon that Account it may reafonably ex- 
pe(5t fair Ufage and Acceptance with all that 
are well-difpos'd^ and it will alfo be, 1 think, 
a great Satisfaction to them to fee thofe Pieces 
of moft ancient Hiftory ^ which have been 
chiefly preferv'd in Scripture, confirm'd a-new^ 
and by another Light, that of Nature and Phi- 
lofophy j and alfo freed from thofe Mifconcep- 
tionsor Mifreprefentations, which made them 
fit uneafy upon the Spirits even of the beft 
Men that took Time to think. Laftly, In 
things purely fpeculative, as thefe are, and no 

a 4 Ingre- 

Ingredients of our Faith, it is free to differ 
from one another in our Opinions and Senti- 
ments ; and fo I remember St. Aufiin hath ob- 
ferv'd upon this very Subjecft of Varadtfe ; 
wherefore as we delire to give no Offence our 
felves, fo neither fhall we take any at the Dif- 
ference of Judgment in others ; provided this 
Liberty be mutual, and that we all agree to 
ftudy Peace^ Truths and a good Life. 







H E lntrodu5lion : An Account of the 
whole IVorky of the Extent and gene^ 
ral Order of it. ^ Page if 

CHAP. 11. 

A general Account of NoahV Flood, A Com- 
putation what £iiantity of Water would be 
neceffary for the making of it ^ That the com- 
mon Opinion and Explication of that Flood is 
?wt intelligible. lo 


xxvi The CONTENTS. 

y^// E'vajio?^ concerning the Flood anfwer^d ; 
That there was no Creation of Waters at the 
Deluge and that it was not particular or 
national^ but extended throughout the whole 
Earth. A Prelude a?td Preparation to the 
true Account and Explication of it. The 
Method of the firft Book, Page 25 


That the Earth and 'Mankind had an Original^ 
and were ?iot fro?n Eternity ; fro'v'd againji 
Ariftotle. The firfi Propcfition of our Theo- 
ry laid down^ viz. That the antediluvian 
Earth was of a different Form and Confirm- 
tion from the prefent. This is provd from 
di'vine Authority^ and from the Nature and 
Form of the Chaosy out of which th^ Earth 
was ?nade. 47 


The fecond Propofition is laid down^ viz. That 
the Face of the Earth before the Deluge 
was fmooth^ regular and uniform ; without 
Mountains^ and without a Sea. The Chaos 
out of which the World rofe is fully examindy 
and all its Motions obfervdy and by what 
Steps it wrought it felf into an habitable 
World. . Some things in Antiquity relating to 
the firft State of the Earth are interpreted y 


The CONTENTS, xxvii 

and jme things in the [acred IVrhings. The 
dhine Art and Geometry m the Confiru^tion 
of the firjl Earth is obfer'v'd and celebrated. 

Page yz 


The Diffolution of the firjl Earth : The Deluge 
enfnihg thereupon. And the Form of the pre- 
fent Earth rifmg from the Ritins of the firjl. 


That the Explication we haxe gi'ven of an uni- 
^erfal Deluge is net an IDE k only, but an 
Account of what really came to pafs in the 
Earth, and the true Explication of NoahV 
flood. An Examination of Tehom-Rabba, 
or the great Ahjfs, and that by it the Sea can- 
not be underjiood, nor the fubterraneous Wa- 
ters as they are at pre fent. What the true No- 
tion and Form of it was, collected from Mofes 
and other facred Writers. Obfer^ations on 
Deucalion'x Deluge. 105 

' C H A P. VIIL 

The particular Bijlory of NoahV Flood is ex- 
plain d in all the material Farts and Urcum- 
fiances of it^ according to the preceding Theo- 
ry. Any feeming Difficulties remo'vd, and the 
whole Sei'tion concluded with a Difcourfe how 
far the Dduie may be lookt upon as the Ef- 
^ fed 

jxvllt The CONTENTS. 

fe^ of an ordinary Pro'vidence, and how far 
of an extraordinary. Page 131 



The fecoTid Part of this Dilcourfe^ proving the 
fame Theory fro?n the Ejfeds and the prefent 
Form of the Earth. Firfi^ hy a general SchejJie 
of what is mofi remarkable in this Globe^ and 
then by a mwe particular Induction ^ begin- 
ning with an Account of fubterraneous Cwvi- 
ties and fubterraneous TVaters. 148 


Concerning the Channel of the Sea^ and the Ori- 
ginal of it ; The Caufes of its irregular Form 
and unequal Depths : As alfo of the Original of 
IJlandsy their Situation and other Properties. 

• 175 


Concerning the Mountains of the Earth, their 
Greatnefs and irregular ForWy their Situation^ 
Caufes and Origin. . 1 9 i 


A jlmt Re'view of what hath been already treat- 
ed of and in what ?nanner. All Methods^ 
whether philofophical or theological, that ha've 
been offer d by others for the Explication of the 
Form of the Earth, are examind and refuted. 

\ ACon- 

The CONTENTS. xxix 

A Conje&ure concerning the other Vianet s^their 
Natural Form and State compared with ours ; 
efpecially concerning Jupiter and Saturn. 

Page 20^ 

The Second Book. 


THE Introdu^iion and Contents of the Se^ 
cond Book. The general State of the 
Triniie^al Earthy and of Paradife. 237 


The great Change of the World fince the Floods 
from what it was in the fir ft Ages, The 
Earth under its prefent Form could not be Fa- 
radifiacaly nor any Fart of it. 253^ 


The Original Differences of the Frimiti've Earth 
from the Frefent or Foftdihrcian. The three 
Charaders of Paradife, and the Golden Agey 
found in the Frimiti-ve Earth. A particular 
Explication of each Chara^er. z66 



A Digrejjion^ concerning the Natural Caufes of 
Longd'vity. That the Machine of an Ani- 
mal co77fifis of SpringSy and which are the two 
principal. The Age of the Antediluvians to 
be computed by Solar, not Lunar Tears. 279 


Concerning the Waters of the Prmitin^e Earth : 
What the State of the Regions of the Air was 
theny and how all Waters proceeded from thern. 
How the Ri'vers aroje^ what was their Courfey 
and how they ended. Several things in Sacred 
Writ that confirm this Hydrography of the firfi 
Earthy efpecially the Foftdiluvian Origin of the 
Rainbow. 309 


A Recolle^lion and Rez'iew of what hath been 
[aid concerning the Primiti've Earthy with a 
more full Sur'vey of the State of the Firft 
Wcrldy Natural and Gvily and the Compari- 
[on of it with theprefent World. 331, 


Concerning the Place of Paradife ; It cannot be 
detcrviind from the Theory'' only y nor from 
Scripture only ; What the Senfe of Antiquity 


The CONTENTS. xxxi 

tjoas concerning it^ as to the Jews and Hea- 
thens ^ and efpecially 05 to the Chriflian Fathe^-s^ 
That they generally flac'd it out of this Conti- 
nent ^ in the Southern He?nifphere. 34.7 


The Ufes of this Theory for the llluflration of 
Antiquity ^ The Chaos of the Ancients ex- 
-plain d 'y The Inhabit ability of the Torrid Zone ; 
The Change of the Voles of the World ; The_ 
Doctrine of the MH?idane Egg y How Ame- 
rica was firjt peopled j How Paradife within 
the Circle of the moon. 365 


A general Objection againfl this Theory^ viz. 

That if there had been fucha Primitive Earth, 

05 we pretendy the Fame of it would have 

founded throughout all Antiquity, The Eajiern 

and Wefiern Learning conjider'd^ the mofl con- 

fiderable Records of both are lofl 5 what Foot^ 

fieps remain relating to this Subject, The 

Jewijh and Chriflian Learning confiderd^ 

how far . lofi as to this Argument^ and what 

Notes or Traditions remain, Laftly^ How far 

the Sacred Writings bear witnefs to it. TJjc 

Providential Conduct of Knowledge in the 

World, A Recapitulation and State of the 

Theory. 381. 


ixxii The CONTENTS. 

Concerning the AU T H O R ^f N A TU R E. 

Page 403 


Concerning Natural Providen ce. 

Several Incroachnents upon natural Providence^ 
or Mifreprefentations of it^ and jaVe Methods 
of Contemplation, A true Method propos'd^ 
and a true Reprefentation of the Univerfe. 
The Mundane Idea, and the u?tiverfal Syftem 
of Providence. Several fubordinate Syjie??tf.- 
That of our Earth and fublunary World. The 
Courfe and Periods of it. How ?nuch of this is 
already treated ofy and what re?nainso Con- 
clufion. 434 



O F T H E 


Book I. 

Concerning the Deluge, and the DiC- 
folution of the Earth. 

The Introduction* 

Jln Account of the whole Work ; of the Extent 
and general Order of it. 

INCH I was fir ft inclind to the 
Contemplation of Nature, and took 
Pleafure to trace out the Caufes of 
Effefls, and the Dependance of one 
thing upon another in the vifible Creation, I 
Book L B M 

t The Theory of the E a r t h. 

had always^ methought, a particular Cnriofity 
to look back into the Sources and O R I G I> 
N A L of Things j and to view in my Mind, 
fo far as I was able, the Beginning and Pro- 
grefs of a RISING WORLD. 

And after fome Eflays of this Nature, and, 
as I thought, not unfuccefsful, I carried on my 
Enquiries further, to try whether this Rifing 
Worldy when form'd and finifli'd, would con- 
tinue always the fame; in the fame Form, 
Strudure, and Confiftency , or what Changes 
it would fucceflively undergo, by the continu- 
ed Adion of the fame Caufes that firft pro- 
duc'd iti and, laftly, what would be its final 
Period and Confummation. This whole Se- 
ries and Compafs of Things taken together^ I 
calfda COURSE OF NATURE, or 
VIDENCE; and thought there was no- 
thing belonging to the External World more 
fit,, or more worthy our Study and Meditation, 
nor any Thing that would conduce more to 
difcover the ways of Divine Providence, and 
to fliew us the Grounds of all true Knowledge 
concerning Nature. And therefore to clear 
up the feveral parts of this Theory, I was 
willing to lay afide a great many other Specu- 
lations, and allthofe dry Subtilties with which 
the Schools, and the Books of Philofophers 
are ufually fill'd. 

But when we fpeak of a Rijing Worlds and 
the Contemplation of it, we do not mean this 
of the Great Unherfe ; for who can defcribe 
the Original of that vaft Frame ? But we fpeak 


The Deluge and Dijjolution of the Earth. 3 
of the Sublunary Worlds This Earth and its De- 
pendencies, which rofe out of a Chaos about 
Six Thoufand Years ago, and feeing it hath 
fain to our Lot to aft upon this Stage, to have 
our prelent Home and Refidence here, it feems 
moft reafonabie, and the Place defign'd by 
Providence, where we fhould firft employ our 
Thoughts to underftand the Works of God 
and Nature. We have accordingly therefore 
defign'd in this Work to give an Account of 
the Original of the Earth, and of all the great 
and general Changes that it hath already un- 
dergone, or is hence forwards to undergo, till 
the Confummation of all Things. For if from 
thofe Principles we have here taken, and that 
Theory we have begun in thefe two firft Books, 
we can deduce with Succefs and Clearnefs the 
Origin of the Earth, and thofe States of it that 
are already paftj following the fame Thread, 
and by the Conduft of the fame Theory, we 
will purfue its Fate and Hiftory thro' future 
Ages, and mark all the great Changes and 
Converfions that attend it while Day and Night 
Jhall laft ; that is, fo long as it continues an 

By the States of the Earth that are already 
paft, we underftand chiefly Paradife and the 
Deluge y Names wellknown,and as little known 
in their Nature. By the future States we un- 
derftand the Conflagration^ and what new Or- 
der of Nature may follow upon that, till the 
whole Circle of Time and Providence be com- 
pleated. As to the firft and paft States of the 
Earth, we Ihall have little help from the An- 

B 2 cients. 


4 The Theory of the EAKr k: 

cients, or from any of the Philofophers, for 
the Difcovery or Defcription of thenij We 
muft often tread unbeaten Paths, and make a 
Way where we do not find one^ but itfhall 
be always with a Light in our Hand, that we 
may fee our Steps, and that thofe that follow 
us may not follow us blindly. There is no 
Sedt of Philofophers that I know of, that ever 
gave an Account of the Univerfal Deluge, or 
difcover'd, from the Contemplation of the 
Earth, that there had been fuch a Thing alrea- 
dy in Nature. 'Tis true, they often talk of 
an Alternation of Deluges and Conflagrations in 
this Earth, but they fpeak of them as Things 
to come 'y at leaft they give no Proof or Argu- 
ment of any that hath already deftroyed the 
World. As to Paradife^ it feems to be repre- 
fented to us by the Golden Age ; whereof the 
Ancients tell many Stories , fometimes very 
Luxuriant, and fometimes very Defed:ive : 
Tor they did not fo well underfland the diffe- 
rence betwixt the new-made Earth and the pre- 
fent, as to fee what were the juft Grounds of 
the Golden Age, or of Paradife : Tho' they 
had many broken Notions concerning thofe 
Things, as to the Conflagration in particular. 
This hath always been reckon d one amongft 
the Opinions or Dogmata of the Stoicks, That 
the World was to be deftroyed by Fire^ and their 
Books are full of this Notion j but yet they 
do not tell us the Caufesof the Conflagration, 
nor what Preparations there are in Nature^ 
or will be, towards that great Change. And 
we may generally obferve this of the Ancients^ 


The Deluge and DiffolutioJt of the Earth. 5 
that their Learning or Philofophy confifted 
more in Concliifions, than in Demonftrations j 
they had many Truths among them, whereof 
they did not know themfelves the Premifesor 
the Proofs : Which is an Argument to me, that 
the Knowledge they had^ was not a Thing of 
their own Invention, or which they came to 
by fair Reafoning and Obfervations upon Na- 
ture, but was delivered to ' them from others 
by Tradition and ancient Fame, fometimes 
more publick, fometimes more fecret : Thefe 
Conclufions they kept in Mind, and commu- 
nicated to thofe of their School, or Sed:, or 
Pofterity, without knowing, for the moft part, 
the juft Grounds and Reafons of them. 

'Tis the Sacred Writings of Scripture that 
are the beft Monuments of Antiquity, and to 
thofe we are chiefly beholden for the Hiftory 
of the firft Ages, whether Natural Hiftory or 
Civil. 'Tis true, the Poets, who were the 
mofl: Ancient Writers amongfl: the Gre?kf^ and 
ferv'd them both for Hiftorians, Divines, and 
Philofophers, have deliver'd fome Things con- 
cerning the firft Ages of the World, that have 
a fair refemblance of Truth, and fome Affinity 
with thofe Accounts that are given of the 
fame Things by Sacred Authors, and thefe 
may be of ufe in due Time and Place , but 
yet, left any thing fabulous fliould be mixt 
with them, as commonly there is, we will ne- 
ver depend wholly upon their Credit, nor af- 
fert any Thing upon the Authority of the An- 
cients* which is not firft prov'd by natural Rea- 
fon^ or warranted by Scripture. 

B 3 It 

6 The Theory of the Earth.' 

It feems to me very reafonable to believe, 
that befides the Precepts of Religion, which 
are the principal Subjed and Defign of the 
Books of Holy Scripture, there may be pro- 
videntially conferv'd in them the Memory of 
Things and Times fo remote, as could not 
be retriev'd, either by Hiftory, or by the Light 
of Nature j and yet were of great Importance 
to be known, both for their own Excellency, 
and alfo to rectify the Knowledge of Men in 
other Things confequential to them : Such 
Points may be. Our great Epocha or the Age 
of the Earth, The Origination of Mankind, 
The Firft and Paradifiacal State, The Deftruc- 
tion of the old World by an.Univerfal De- 
luge, The Longevity of its Inhabitants, The 
manner of their Prefervation, and of their 
Peopling the fecond Earthy and laftly, the 
Fate and Changes it is to undergo. Thefe lal^ 
ways look'd upon as the Seeds of great Know- 
ledge, er Heads of Theories fixt on purpofe 
to give us Aim andDiredion how to purfue 
the reft that depend upon them. But thefe 
Heads, you fee, are of a mixt Order, and we 
propofe to our felyes in this Work only fuch as 
belong to the natural World ; upon which I 
believe the Trains of Providence are generally 
laid ; and we muft firft confider how God hath 
order'd Nature, and then how the Oeconomy 
of the Intelleduai World is adapted to it ; 
for of thefe two parts confift the full Syftem 
of Providence. In the mean time, what Sub- 
]e£t can be more worthy the Thoughts of any 
ferious Perfon, than to view and confider the 


The Deluge and Dijfolution of the Earth, 7 
Rife and Fall, and all the Revolutions, not of 
a Monarchy or an Empire, of the Grecian or 
Ro?nan State, but of an entire World ? 

The Obfcurity of thefe Things, and their 
Remotenefs from common Knowledge, will be 
made an Argument by fome, why we fliould 
not undertake them 5 and by others, it may 
be, the very fame thing will be made an Ar- 
gument why we jQiould. For my part I think 
There is nothing [0 fecret that Jhall not be brought 
to Lights within the compafs of Otir World; 
for we are not to underftand that of the whole 
Univerfe, nor of all Eternity, our Capacities 
do not extend fo far ,• but whatfoever concerns 
this Sublunary World in the whole extent of 
its Duration, from the Chaos to the laft Pe- 
riod, this I believe Providence hath made us 
capable to underftand, and will in its due 
time make it known. All I fay, betwixt the 
firft Chaos and the laft Completion of Time 
and all Things temporary, this was given to 
the Difquifitions of Men , On either hand is 
Eternity, before the World and after, which 
is without our reach : But that little fpot of 
Ground that lies betwixt thofe two great 
Oceans, this we are to cultivate, this we are 
Mafters of, herein we are to exercife our 
Thoughts, to underftand and lay open the 
Treafures of the Divine Wifdom and Good- 
nefs hid in this part of Nature and of Provi- 

As for the Difficulty or Obfcurity of an 
Argument, that does but add to the Pleafure 
©f contefting with it, when there are hopes 

B 4 of 

8 The Theory of the Earth. 

of Vidory ; and Succefs does more than 
recompence all the Pains. For there is no fort 
of Joy more grateful to the Mind of Man, 
than that which arifeth from the Invention of 
Truth 5 efpecially when 'tis hard to come 
by. Every Man hath a Delight fuited to his 
GeniuSj and as there is Plealure in the right 
exercife of any Faculty, fo efpecially in that 
of Right-reafoning ; which is ftill the greater, 
by how much the Confequences are more 
clear, and the Chains of them more long: 
There is no Chace fo pleafant, methinks, as 
to drive a Thought, by good Condu^ft, from 
one end of the World to the other j and ne- 
ver to lofe fight of it till it fall into Eternity, 
where all things are loft as to our Knowledge. 
This Theory being chiefly Philofophical, 
Reafon i3 to be our lirft Guide ; and where 
that falls fhort, or any other juft Occafion of- 
fers it felf, we may receive further Light an4 
Confirmation from the Sacred Writings. Both 
thefe are to be lookt upon as of Divine Origi- 
nal, God is the Author of both ; he that made 
the Scripture made alfo our Faculties, and 
Vtwere a Reflecflion upon the Divine Veracity 
for the one or the other to be falfe when right- 
ly us'd.' We muft therefore be careful and 
tender of oppofing thefe to on^ another, be- 
caufe that is, in effedt, to oppofe God to him- 
felf. As for Antiquity and the Teftimonies of 
the Ancients, we only make general Reflec- 
tions upon them, for lUuftration rather than 
Proof of what we propofe y not thinking it pro- 

The Deluge and Dijjolution of the Earth, 9 
per for an Englijh Treatife to multiply Cita- 
tions out of Greek or Latin Authors. 

I am very fenfible it will be much our In- 
tereft, that the Reader of this Theory fhould 
be of an ingenuous and unprejudic'd Temper; 
neither does it fo much require Book-learning 
and Scholarfhip, as good natural Senfe to dif- 
tinguifli True and Falfe^ and to difcern what is 
well prov'd, and what is not. It often hap- 
pens that Scholaftick Education, like a Trade, 
does fo Rx a Man in a particular way, that he 
is not fit to judge of any thing that lies out of 
that way,- and fo his Learning becomes a Clog 
to his natural Parts, and makes him more in- 
docile, and more incapable of new Thoughts 
and new Improvements, than thofe that have 
only the Talents of Nature. As Matters of 
Exercife had rather take a Scholar that never 
learn'd before, than one that hath had a bad 
Mafter , fo generally one would rather chufe 
^ Reader without Art, than one ill inftrucfted, 
with Learning, but opinionative and without 
Judgment ; yet it is not neceflary they fliould 
want either , and Learning well plac'd 
ftrengthens all the Powers of the Mind. To 
conclude, juft Reafoning and a generous Love 
of Truth, whether with or without Erudi- 
tion, is that which makes us moft competent 
Judges what is true. And further than this, in 
the Perufal and Examination of this Work, as 
to the Author, as much Candor as you pleafe ; 
but as to the Theory, we require nothing but 
Attention and Impartiality, 

Chat. IL 

lo The Theory of the Earth. 

Chap. IL 

jft general Account of NoahV flood ; a Cojnpu- 
tation what 2^iantity of Water would be ne- 
ceffary for the making of it ; that the common 
Opinion and Explication of that Flood is not 

>■ '^ I S now more than Five Thoufand Years 
I fince our World was made, and tho' 
-*- it would be a great Pleafure to the 
Mind, to recoiled: and view at this Diftance 
thofe firft Scenes of Nature ; what the Face 
of the Earth was when frefli and new, and 
how things differ'd from the State we now 
find them in, the Speculation is fo remote, 
that it feems to be hopelefs, and beyond the 
reach of Humane Wit. We are almoft the 
iaft Pofterity of the firft Men, and fain into 
the dying Age of the World ,♦ by what Foot-i 
fteps, or by what Guide, can we trace back 
our Way to thofe firft Ages, and the firft Or- 
der of Things ? And yet, methinks, it is rea- 
fonable to believe, that Divine Providence, 
which kes at once throughout all the Ages 
and Orders of the World, fhould not be wil- 
ling to keep Mankind finally and fatally igno- 
rant of that part of Nature and of the Univerfe, 
which is properly their Task and Province to 
manage and underftand. We are the Inhabi- 
tants of the Earth, the Lords and Mafters of 
it ; and we are endow'd with Reafon and Un- 
derftanding j doth it not then properly belong 


The Deluge and Diffolution of the Earth, ir 
to us to examine and unfold the Works of 
God in this part of the Univerfe, which is 
fain to our Lot, which is our Heritage and 
Habitation ? And it will be found, it may 
be, upon a ftri(5ter Enquiry, that in the pre- 
fent Form and Conftitution of the Earth there 
are certain Marks and Indications of its firft 
State 5 with which if we compare thofe 
things that are recorded in Sacred Hiftory, con- 
cerning the firft Chaos, Paradife, and an Uni- 
verfal Deluge, we may difcover, by the help 
of thofe Lights, what the Earth was in its 
firft Original, and what Changes have fince 
fucceeded in it. 

And tho' we Qiall give a full Account of the 
Origin of the Earth in this Treatife, yet that 
which we have proposed particularly for the 
Title and Subje<S of it, is to give an Account 
of the primaeval Paradife^ and of the Univer- 
fal Deluge^ thofe being the two moft impor- 
tant things that are explain'd by the Theory we 
propofe. And I muft beg leave in treating 
of thefe two, to change the Order, and treat 
firft of the Deluge, and then of Paradife : For 
though the State of Paradife doth precede that 
of the Flood in Sacred Hiftory, and in the na- 
ture of the thing, yet the Explication of both 
will be more fenfible,and more effedual,if we 
begin with the Deluge,- there being more Ob- 
fervations and Effefts, and thofe better known 
to us, that may be refer'd to this, than to the 
others and the Deluge being once truly ex- 
plain'd, we fliall from thence know the Form 
and Qiiality of the Ante-diluvian fiarth. Let 


I i The The cry of the E a r t hI 

us then proceed to the Explication of that 
great and fatal Inundation, whofe Hiftory 
is well known ^ and according to Mofes^ the 
beft of Hiftorians, in a few word sis this 

Sixteen Hundred and odd Years after the 
Earth was made, and inhabited, it was over- 
flow'd, and deftroy'd in a Deluge of Water. 
Not a Deluge that was National only, or over- 
run fome particular Country or Region, as 
Judea or Greece^ or any other, but it over- 
fpread the Face of the whole Earth, from Pole 
to Pole, and from Eaft to Weft, and that in 
fuch Excefs, that the Floods over-reacht the 
Tops of the higheft Mountains ; the Rains de- 
fcending after an unufual manner, and the Foun- 
tains of the Great Deep being broke open i fo 
as a general Deftrudion and Devaftation was 
brought upon the Earth, and all Things in it. 
Mankind and other living Creatures ; except--^ 
ing only Noah and his Family^ who by a fpe- 
cial Providence of God was preferv'd in a cer- 
tain Ark, or VeflTel made like a Ship, and fuch 
kinds of living Creatures as he took in to him. 
After thefe Waters had rag'd for fome time on 
the Earth, they began to leflen and fhrink, and 
the great Waves and Fluduations of this Deep 
or Abyfs being quieted by degrees, the Wa- 
ters retir'd into their Channels and Caverns 
within the Earth ,• and the Mountains and 
Fields began to appear, and the whole habita- 
ble Earth in that Form and Shape wherein we 
now fee it. Then the World began again, 
and from that little Remnant preferv'd in the 
Ark, the prefent Race of Mankind, and of 


The Vduge and Dijjolution of the Earth. 1 3 
'Animals, in the known parts of the Earth, 
were propagated. Thus perifli'd the Old 
World, and the prefent arofe from the Ruins 
and Remains of it. 

This is a fhort Story of the greateft Thing 
that ever yet hapned in the World, the great- 
eft Revolution and the greateft Change in Na- 
ture ; and if we come to refled ferioufly up- 
on it, we fliall find it extreamly difficult, if 
not impoifible, to .give -an Account of the Wa- 
ters that compos'd this Deluge, whence they 
came or whither they went. If it had been 
only the Inundation of a Country, or of a 
Province, or of the greateft part of a Conti- 
nent , fome proportionable Caufes perhaps 
might have been found out , but a Deluge 
overflowing the whole Earth, the whole Cir- 
cuit and whole Extent of it, burying all m 
Water, even the greateft Mountains in any 
knowh parts of the Univerfe, to find Water 
fufficient for this Eflfed, as it is generally ex- 
plained and underftood, I think is impofllbk. 
And that we may the better judge of the 
whole matter, let us firft compute how much 
Water would be requifite for fuch a. Deluge; 
or to lay the Earth, confider'd in its prefent 
Form, and the higheft Mountains, under Wa- 
ter. Then let's confid^ whether luch a quan- 
tity of Water can be had out of all the Stares 
that we know in Nature: And from thefe two 
we will take oflr Ground and Rife, and begin 
to refled, whether the World hath not been 
hitherto miftaken in the common Opinion and 
Explication of the general Deluge, 


14 The Theory of the Earth, 

To difcover how much Water would be 
requifite to make this Deluge^ we muft firft 
fuppofe enough to cover the plain Surface of 
the Earth, the Fields and lower Grounds ; 
then we muft heap up fo much more upon this, 
as will reach above the tops of the higheft 
Mountains ; fo as drawing a Circle over the 
tops of the higheft Mountains quite round the 
Earth, fuppofe from Pole to Pole, and another 
to meet it round the middle of the Earth, all 
that Space or Capacity contained within thefe 
Circles is to be fill'd up with Water. This I 
confefs will make a prodigious mafs of Water, 
and it looks frightfully to the Imagination ; 'tis 
huge and great, but 'tis extravagantly fo, as 
a great Monfter : It doth not look like the 
Work of God or Nature : However, let's com- 
pute a little more particularly how much this 
will amount to, or how many Oceans of Wa- 
ter would be necelEiry to compofe this great 
Ocean rowling in the Air, without Bounds or 

If all the Mountains were pared off the 
Earth, and fo the Surface of it lay even, or in 
an equal Convexity every where with the Sur- 
face of the Sea, from this Surface of the Sea, 
let us fuppofe that the height of the Moun- 
tains may be a Mile and a half; or that we 
may not feem at all to favour our own Opinion 
or Calculation, let us take a^Mile only for 
the perpendicular height of the Mountains. 
Let us on the other lide fuppofe the Sea to 
cover half the Earth, as 'tis generally believ'd 
to do; and the common depth of it, taking 


The Deluge and Diffolution of the Earth, x y 
one Place with another, to be about a quarter 
of a Mile, or 250 Paces. I fay, taking one Place 
with another, for though the middle Channel 
of the great Ocean be far deeper, we may ob- 
ferve, that there is commonly a Defcent or De- 
clivity from the Shore to the middle part of 
the Channel, fo that one comes by Degrees in-- 
to the depth of it,- and thofe Shory Parts are 
generally but fome Fathoms deep. Be/ides^ 
in Arms of the Sea, in Straits and among 
Iflands, there is commonly no great depth, and 
fome Places are plain Shallows. So as upon a 
moderate Computation, one Place compard 
with another, we may take a quarter of a 
Mile, or about an hundred Fathoms, for the 
common meafure of the depth c5f the Sea, if 
we were caft into a Channel of an equal depth 
every where. This being fuppos'd,there would 
need four Oceans to lie upon this Ocean, to 
raife it up to the top of the Mountains, or fo 
high as the Waters of the Deluge rife; then 
four Oceans more to lie upon the Land, that 
the Water there might fwell to the fame 
height j which together make eight Oceans for 
the proportion of the Water requir'd in the 

'Tis true, there would not be altogether fo 
much Water requir'd for the Land as for the 
Sea, to raife them to an equal height ; becaufe 
Mountains and Hills would fill up part of that 
^ace upon the Land, and fo make lefs Water 
requifite. But to compenfate this, and con- 
firm our Computation, we muft confider in 
the firft place;, that we have taken a much lefs 
I heigte 

1 6 The Theory of the Earth. 

height of the Mountains than is requifite^ if 
we refped the Mediterraneous Mountains, or 
thofe that are at a great diftance from the Sea ,• 
for their height above the Surface of the Sea, 
computing the Declivity of the Land all along 
from the Mountains to the Sea-fide (and that 
there is fuch a Declivity, is manifeft from the 
Courfe and Defcent of the Rivers) is far greater 
than the Proportion we have taken : The 
height of Mountains is ufually taken from the 
Foot of them, or from the next Plain, which 
if it be far from the Sea, we may reafonably 
allow as much for the Declenfion of the Land 
from that place to the Sea, as for the immediate 
height of the Mountain ^ So, for inftance, the 
Mountains of the Moon in Africa^ whence 
the Nile flows, and after a long Courfe falls 
into the Mediterranean Sea hy Egypt ^ are fo 
much higher than the Surface of that Sea, firft, 
as the Afcent of the Land is from the Sea to 
the Foot of the Mountains, and then as the 
height of the Mountains is from the bottom 
to the top : For both thefe are to be com- 
puted when you meafure the height of a 
Mountain, or of a mountainous Land, in refped 
of the Sea : And the height of Mountains to 
the Sea being thus computed, there would 
be need of fix or eight Oceans to raife the Sea 
alone as high as the higheft Inland Mountains : 
And this is more than enough to compenfate 
the lefs quantity of Water that would be 
requifite upon the Land. Befides, we muft 
confider the Regions of the Air upwards to be 
more capacious than a Region of the fame 


The Deluge and DiJJolutm of the Earth. 17 
Thicknefs in or near the Earthy fo as if an 
Ocean pour'd upon the Surface of the dry 
Land, fuppofing it were all fmooth, would 
rife to the height of half a quarter of a Mile 
every where ,* the like quantity of Water 
pour'd again at the height of the Mountains, 
would not have altogether the fame effedl, or 
would not there raife the Mafs half a quarter 
of a Mile higher; for the Surfaces of a Globe, 
the farther they are from their Center, 
are the greater : and fo accordingly the Re- 
gions that belong to them. And, laftly, we 
muft confider that there are fonie Countries 
or Valleys very low, and alfo many Caverns 
or Cavities within the Earth, all which in this 
Cafe were to be firft fiU'd with Water. Thefe 
things being compared and eftimated, we fhall 
find that notwithftanding the Room that Hills 
and Mountains take up on the dry Land, 
there would be at lead eight Oceans required, 
or a Quantity of Water eight times as great 
as the Ocean,to bring an Univerfal Deluge up- 
on the Earth, as that Deluge is ordinarily un* 
derftood and explained. 

The Proportion of Water for the Deluge 
being thus ftated, the next thing to be done, 
is to enquire where this Water is to be found j 
if any part of the Sublunary World will af- 
ford us fo much : Eight Oceans floating in the 
Air, make a great bulk of Water, I do not 
know what poffible Sources to draw it from. 
There are the Clouds above, and the Deeps 
below, and in the Bowels of the Earth; and 
thefe are all the Stores we have for Water ; and 
Book I. C Mofer 

i8 The Theory of the Earth. 
Mofes dlre&s us to no other for the Caufes of 
the Deluge. The Foimtaim (he faith) of the 
great Ahyfs were broken up^ or hurjl afimder^ 
and the Rain defcended for forty Days, the 
Cataracts or Floodgates of Heaven being open- 
ed. And in thefe two, no doubt, are con- 
tain'd the Caufes of the great Deluge, as ac- 
cording to Mofes^ fo alfo according to Reafon 
and Neceflity j for our World affords no other 
Treafures of Water. Let us therefore con- 
fider how much this Rain of Forty Days might 
amount to, and how much might flow out of 
the Abyfs, that fo we may judge whether 
thefe two in conjundion would make up the 
Eight Oceans which we want. 

As for the Rains, they would not afford us 
one Ocean, nor half an Ocean, nor the tenth 
part of an Ocean, if we may truft to the Ob- 
fervations made by others concerning the 
Quantity of Water that falls in Rain. M^r- 
(enniis gives us this Account of it. Cog. Phyf 
^Mech. p. 221. *^ It appears by our Obferva- 
" tions, that a Cubical Veffel of Brafs, where- 
'^ of we made ufe, is fiU'd an Inch and an 
^^ half in half an Hour's Time ; but becaufe 
^^ that fucks up nothing of the Moifture as the 
^^ Earth doth, let us take an Inch for half an 
" Hour's Rain; whence it follows, that in the 
'^ fpace of Forty Days and Nights Rain, the 
" Waters in the Deluge would rife, at four 
" Feet in 24 Hours, 160 Feet, if the Rains 
" were conftant and equal to ours, and that 
" it rain'd at once throughout the Face of the 
tl whole Earth.'' But the Rain of the Deluge, 


The Deluge and Diffolution of the Earth, xg 
faith he, fliould have been 90 times greater 
than this, to cover, for Inftance, the Moun- 
tains of Armenia^ or to reach 1 5 Cubits above 
them. So that according to hisComputation^ 
the Forty Days Rain would fupply little more 
than the hundredth part of the Water requi- 
fite to make the Deluge. 'Tis true, he makes 
the height of the Mountains higher than we 
do ; but, however, if you temper the Calcu- 
lation on all Sides as much as you pleafe, the 
Water that came by this Rain would be a ve- 
ry inconfiderable part of what was neceifary 
for a Deluge. If it rain'd Forty Days and 
Forty Nights throughout the Face of the whole 
Earth, in the Northern and Southern Hemi- 
fphere all at once, it might be fufficient to lay 
all the lower Grounds under Water, but it 
ivould fignify very little, as to the overflow- 
ing of the Mountains. Whence another Au- 
thor upon the fame occafion hath this Paffage,- 
Au6t. cat. in Gen. 7. 4. " If the Deluge 
" had been made by Rains only, there would 
" not have needed Forty Days, but Forty 
" Years Rain to have brought it to pafs." And 
if we fliould fuppofe the whole middle Re- 
gion condensM into Water, it would not at 
all have been fufficient for this Effeft, accord- 
ing to that Proportion fome make betwixt 
Air and Water ^ for they fay. Air turn'd into* 
Water, takes up a hundred times lefs room 
than it did before. The Truth is, we may 
reafonably fuppofe, that all the Vapours of 
the middle Region were turn'd into Water in 
this Forty Days and Forty Nights Rain, if we 

C 2 admit;y 

1 o The Theory of the Eakth. 

admit, that this Rain was throughout the 
whole Earth at once, in either Hemifphere, in 
every Zone, in every Climate, in every Coun- 
try, in every Province, in every Field; and 
yet we fee what a fmall Proportion all this 
would amount to. 

Having done then with thefe Superiour Re- 
gions, we are next to examine the Inferiour, 
and the Treafures of Water that may be had 
there. Mofes tells us, that the Fountains of 
the great Abyfs were broke open, or clo've 
J afundevj as the Word there us'd doth imply ; 
V and no doubt in this lay the great Myftery of 
the Deluge, as will appear when it comes to 
be rightly underftood and explained ; but we 
are here to confider what is generally under- 
ftood by the great Abyfs ^ in the common Ex- 
plication of the Deluge ; and 'tis commonly 
interpreted either to be the Sea, or Subterra- 
neous Waters hid in the Bowels of the Earth : 
Thefe, they fay, broke forth and rais'd the 
Waters, caus'd by the Rain, tofuch an height, 
that together they overflowed the higheft 
Mountains. But whether or how this could 
be, deferves to be a little examined. 

And in the firft Place; the Sea is not high- 
er than the Land, as fome have formerly ima- 
gin'd; fancying the Sea flood, as it were, up- 
on a heap, higher than the Shore ; and at the 
Deluge a Relaxation being made, it over- 
flow'd the Land. But this Conceit is fo grofs, 
and fo much againft Reafon and Experience, 
that none I think of late have ventur'd to 
make ufe of it. And yet on the other hand, 

i if 

The Deluge and 'Diffolution of the Earth. 1 1 

if the Sea lie in an equal Convexity with the 
Land, or lower generally than the Shore, and 
much more than the Midland, as it is certain- 
ly known to do, what could the Sea contri- 
bute to the Deluge ? It would keep its Chan- 
nel, as it doth now j and take up the fame 
Place. And fo alfo the Subterraneous Waters 
would lie quiet in their Cells. Whatfoever 
Fountains or Paflages you fuppofe,thefe would 
not iffue out upon the Earth, for Water doth 
not afcend, unlefs by Force. But lets imagine 
then that Force us'd and apply'd, and the Wa- 
ters both of the Sea and Caverns under Ground 
drawn out upon the Surface of the Earth, we 
fliall not be any whit the nearer for this ; for 
if you take thefe Waters out of their Places, 
thofe Pbces muft be fill'd again with other 
Waters in the Deluge 5 fo as this turns to no 
Account upon the whole. If you have two 
VefTels to fill, and you empty one to fill the 
other, you gain nothing by that, there ftill 
remains one Veflel empty, you cannot have 
thefe Waters both in the Sea and on the Land, 
both above Ground and under , nor can you 
fuppofe the Channel of the Sea would ftand 
gaping without Water, when all the Earth 
was overflowed, and the tops of the Moun- 
tains cover'd. And fo for Subterraneous Ca- 
vities, if you fuppofe the Water pumpt out, 
they would fuck it in again when the Earth 
came to be laid under Water j fo that upon 
the whole, if you thus underftand the Ahyfs 
or great Deep^ and the breaking open its 
Fountains in this manner, it doth us no Ser- 

C 3 vice 

2 2 The Theory of the E a r t h. 
vice as to the Deluge, and where we expected 
the greatefl: Supply, there we find none at all. 
What ftiall we do then ? Whither ihall we 
go to find more than feven Oceans of Water 
that we ftill want ? We have been above and 
below ^ we have drain'd the whole middle 
Region, and we have examin'd the Deeps of 
the Earth ; they muft want for themfelves, 
they fay, if they give us any ; and, befides,.if 
the Earth lliould difgorge all the Water that 
it hath in its Bowels, it would not amount to 
^bove half an Ocean, which would not at all 
anfwer our Occafions. Muft we not then con- 
clude, that the common Explication of the 
Deluge makes it impoflible ? there being no 
fuch Quantity of Water in Nature as they 
make requifite for an univerfal Deluge. Yet 
to give them all fair Play, having examin'd 
the Waters above the Earth or in the Air, the 
Watqrs upon the Earth, and the Waters under 
the Earth ; let us alfo confider if there be not 
Waters above the Heavens, and if thofe might 
not be drawn down for the Deluge. Mofes 
fpeaks of Waters abon)e the Firmament^ which 
though it be generally underftood of the mid- 
dle Region of the Air, yet fome have thought 
thofe to be Waters plac'd above the higheft 
Heavens, or Super-celeftial Waters^ and have 
been willing to make ufe of them for a Sup- 
ply, when they could not find Materials e- 
Bough under the Heavens to make up the great 
Mais of the Deluge. But the Heavens above, 
where thele Waters lay, are either folid, or 
fluid; if folid, as Glafs or Cryftal, how could 


The Deluge and DiJJolution of the Earth, 2 3 
the Waters get through them to defcend upon 
the Earth ? If fluid as the Air or yEther, how 
could the Waters reft upon them ? for Wa- 
ter is heavier than Air or ^^^ther ; fo that I 
am afraid thofe pure Regions will prove no 
fit Place for that Element, upon any account. 
But fuppofing thefe Waters there, how imagi- 
nary foever, and that they were brought down 
to drown the World in that vaft Qiiantity that 
would be neceffary, what became of them, 
when the Deluge ceas'd ? Seven or eight O- ^ 
ceans of Water, with the Earth wrapt up in 
the middle of them, how did it ever get quit 
of them ? How could they be difpos'd of when 
the Earth was to be dry'd, and the World re- 
new'd ? It would be a hard Task to lift them 
up again among the Spheres, and we have no 
room for them here below. The Truth is, I 
mention this Opinion of the Heavenly Waters, 
becaufe I would omit none that had ever been 
made ufe of to make good the common Ex-^ 
plication of the Deluge; but otherwife, I 
think, fince the Syftem of the World hath been 
better known, and the Nature of the Heavens, 
there are none that would ferioufly affeit thefe 
Super-celeftial Waters, or, at leaft, make ufe 
of them fo extra vagantlyjas to bring them down 
hither for Caufes of the Deluge. 

We have now ernploy'd our laft and utmoft 
Endeavours to find out Waters for the vulgar 
Deluge, or for the Deluge as commonly un- 
derftood ; and you fee with how little Succefs; 
we have left no Corner unfought, where there 
was any Appearance or Report of Water to 

C 4 be 

24 The Theory of the Earth. 

be found, and yet we have not been able to 
colled the eighth part of what was neceflary 
upon a moderate Account. May we not then 
with AfTurance conclude, that the World hath 
taken wrong Meafures hitherto in their No- 
tion and Explication of the general Deluge ? 
They make it impoflible and unintelligible up- 
on a double Account, both in requiring more 
Water than can be found, and more than can 
be difpos'd of, if it was found ; or could any 
way be withdrawn from the Earth when the 
Deluge fiiould ceafe. For if the Earth was 
encompafs'd with eight Oceans of Water heapt 
one upon another, how thefe Ihould retire in- 
to any Channels, or be drain'd off, or the 
Earth any way difengag'd from them, is not 
intelligible j and that in fo fliort a Time as 
fome Months ; For the Violence of the De- 
Juge lafted but four or five Months, and in as 
many Months after the Earth was dry and ha- 
bitable* So as upon the whole Enquiry, we 
can neither find Source nor I0ue, Beginning 
nor Ending, for fuch an exceflive Mafs of Wa- 
ters as the vulgar Deluge requir'd ; neither 
where to have them, nor if we had them, how 
to get quit of them. And I think Men can- 
not do a greater Injury or Injuftice to Sacred 
Hiftory, than to give fuch Reprefentations of 
things recorded there, as make them unintel- 
ligible and incredible ; and on the other hand, 
we cannot deferve better of Religion and Pro- 
vidence, than by giving fuch fair Accounts of 
all things propos'd by them, or belonging to 
them,as may filence the Cavils of Atheifts, fa- 


The Deluge and Diffolution of the Earth. 2 j 
tisfy the Inquifitive, and recommend them to 
the Belief and Acceptance of all reafonable 

Chap. III. 

^11 E'vajions anfwered; That there was no new 
Creation of JVaters at the Deluge : And that it 
was not Particular or National^ but extended 
th'oughout the whole Earth. A Prelude and 
Preparation to the true Account and Explica- 
tion of it : The method of the fir Jl Book. 

T Hough in the preceding Chapter we may 
feem to have given a fair Trial to the 
common Opinion concerning the ftate 
of the Deluge, and might now proceed to 
Sentence of Condemnation: yet having heard 
of another Plea, which feme have us'd in its 
behalf, and another way found out by recourfe 
to the Supream Power, to fupply all defeds, 
and to make the whole matter intelligible, we 
will proceed no further till that be confider'd; 
being very willing to examine whatfoever may 
be offered, in that or any other way, for re- 
folving that great Difficulty which we have pro- 
pos'd, concerning the £iiantity of Water requi^ 
fite for fuch a Deluge, And to this they fay in 
fliort, that God Almighty created Waters on 
furpofe to jnake the Deluge^ and then a?inih Hated 
them again when the Dduge was to ceafe ,• and 
this, in a few Words, is the whole Account 
of the Bufinefs. This is to cut the Knot when 
we cannot loofe it j they ihew us the naked 


26 The Theory of the Earth. 

Arm of Omnipotency ; fuch Arguments as 
thefe come like Lightnings one doth not 
know what Armour to put on againft them, 
for they pierce the more, the more they are 
refifted : We will not therefore oppofe any 
thing to them that is hard and ftubborn, but 
by a foft Anfwer deaden their Force by de- 

And 1 defire to mind thofe Perfons in the 
firft Place of what St. Juflin hath faid upon a 
like Occafion, fpeaking concerning thofe that 
difprov'd the Opinion of Waters above the 
Heavens (which we mentioned before) by na- 
tural Reafons. " We are not, faith he, to re-^ 
'^ fute thofe Perfons, by faying, that accor^- 
" ing to the Omnipotence of God, to whom 
" all things are poflible, we ought to believe 
" th^reare Waters there as heavy as we know 
'^ and feel them here below , for our Bufinefs 
" is now to enquire according to his Scripture, 
*^ how God hath conftituted the Nature of 
^^ things, and not what he could do or work 
" in thefe things by a Miracle of Omnipo- 
" tency. " I defire them to apply this to the 
prefent Argument for the firft Anfwer. 

Secondly, let them confider, that Mofes 
hath aflign d Caufes of the Deluge , Forty 
Days Rain^ and the Difruption of the Abyfs ; 
and fpeaks nothing of a new Creation of Wa- 
ter upon that Occafion. Thofe were Caufes 
in Nature which Providence had then difpos'd 
for this extraordinary effed, and thofe the Di- 
vine Hiftorian refers us to, and not to any 
Produftions out of nothing. Befides, Mofes 
4. makes 

The Deluge and Diffolution of the 'Earth. 27 
makes the Deluge increafe by degrees with 
the Rain, and accordingly makes it ceafe by 
degreesjand that the Waters goingand returm?tgy 
as the Waves and great Commotions of the 
Sea ufe to do, retired leifurely from the Face 
of the Earth, and fettled at length in their 
Channels. Now this manner of the Begin- 
ing or Ceafing of the Deluge doth not at all a- 
gree with the inftantaneous Adions of Crea- 
tion and Annihilation. 

Thirdly, let them confider, that St. Peter 
hath alfo aflign'd Catifes of the Deluge, 2 Pet, 
5. 6. namely the particular Conftitution of 
the Earth and Heavens before the Flood ; by 
reafon whereof ^ he faith, the World that was 
then^ ferijijt in a Deluge of JVater. And not 
by reafon of a new Creation of Water. His 
Words are thefe: " The Heavens and the 
" Earth were of old, confifting of Water, 
" and by Water ; whereby , or by reafon 
" whereof, the World that then was, being 
^^ overflowed with Water, periflied. 

Fourthly, they are to confider, that as we 
are not raflily to have recourfe to the Divine 
Omnipotence upon any Account, fo efpecially 
not for new Creations ; and leaft of all for 
the Creation of new Matter. The Matter of 
the Univerfe was created many Ages before 
the Flood, and the Univerfe being full, if a- 
ny more was created, then there muft be as 
much annihilated at the fame time to make 
room for it ; for Bodies cannot penetrate one 
anothers Dimenfions, nor be two or more 
within one and the fame Space. Then on the 
' other 

5 8 The Theory of the E a r t h. 

other hand, when the Deluge ceas'd^ and thefe 
Waters were annihilated, fo much other Mat- 
ter muft be created again to take up their 
Places : And methinks they make very bold 
with the Deity, when they make him do and 
undo 5 go forward and backwards by fuch 
Countermarches and Retradions, as we do 
not willingly impute to the Wifdom of God 

Laftly, I fliall not think my Labour loft, 
if it be but acknowledg'd, that we have fo 
far clear'd the Way in this Controverfy, as to 
have brought it to this IflTue ^ that either there 
muft be new Waters created on purpofe to 
make a Deluge, or there could be no Deluge, 
as 'tis vulgarly explain'di there not being 
Water fufficient in Nature to make a Deluge 
of that kind. This, I fay, is a great ftep, and, 
I think, will fatisfy all Parties, at leaft all 
that are confiderable ,• for thofe that have re- 
courfe to a new Creation of Waters, are of 
two forts, either fuch as do it out of Lazi- 
nefs and Ignorance, or fuch as do it out of Ne- 
ceflity, feeing they cannot be had otherwife ; 
as for the firft, they are not to be valu'd or gra- 
tify 'd ; and as for the fecond, I fliall do a thing 
very acceptable to them, if I free them and 
the Argument from that Neceffity; and ftiow 
a way of making the Deluge fairly intelligible, 
and accountable without the Creation of new 
Waters ; which is the Defign of this Treatife. 
For we do not tie this Knot with an Intention 
to puzzle and perplex the Argument finally 
with it i but the harder it is ty'd, we ilia 11 feel 


The Deluge and Dijjolution of the Earth. 2 9 
the Pleafure more fenfibly when we come to 
loofe it. 

It may be when they are beaten from th& 
new Creation of Water, they will fay the 
Element of Air was chang'd into Water, and 
that was the great Store-houfe for the Deluge. 
Forty Days Rain we allow, as Mofes does, but 
if they fuppofe any other Tranfelementation, 
it neither agrees with Mofey's Philofophy, nor 
St. Peter's ; for then the opening of the Abyfs 
was needlefs, and the Form and Conftitution 
of the Antediluvian Hoa'vem Siud Earthy which 
St. Peter refers the Deluge to, bore no part in 
the Work ; it might have been made, in that 
way, indifferently under any Heavens, or 
Earth. Befides, they offend againft St. Au- 
ftin's Rule in this Method too j for I look up- 
on it as no lefs a Miracle to turn Air into Wa- 
ter, than to turn Water into Wine. Air^ I 
fay, for Vapours indeed are but Water made 
volatile ^ but pure Air is a Body of another 
Species, and cannot by any Compreflion or 
Condenfation, fo far as is yet known, be 
chang'd into Water. And laflly, if the whole 
Atmofphere was turn'd into Water, 'tis very 
probable it would make no more than 34 foot 
or thereabouts ; for fo much Air or Vapours 
as is of the fame weight with any certain Qiian- 
tity of Water, 'tis likely, if it was chang'd 
into Water, would alfo be of the fame Bulk 
with it, or not much more : Now according 
to the Dodrine of the Gravitation of the At- 
mofphere, 'tis found that 34 foot of Water 
does counterbalance a proportionable Cylin- 

30 The Theory of the E a r t h. 

der of Air reaching to the top of the Atmo- 
fphere ; and confequently, if the whole At-^ 
mofphere was converted into Water, it would 
make no more than eleven or twelve Yards 
Water about the Earth ; which the Cavities 
of the Earth would be able in a good meafure 
to fuck up, at leaft this is very inconfiderable as 
to our eight Oceans. And if you would change 
the higher Regions into Water too, what muft 
fupply the Place of that Air which you trans- 
form into Water, and bring down upon the 
Earth ? There would be little left but Fire 
and ^ther betwixt us and the Moon, and I 
am afraid it would endanger to fuck down the 
Moon too after it. In a word, fuch an Ex- 
plication as this, is both purely imaginary, 
and alfo very operofe, and would affeft 
a great part of the Univerfe; and after all, 
they would be as hard put to it to get rid of 
this Water, when the Deluge was to ceafe^ 
as they were at firft to procure it. 

Having now examin'd and anfwered all the 
Pleas, from firft to laft, for the vulgar Deluge, 
or the old way of explaining it, we fliould 
proceed immediately to propofe another Me- 
thod, and another Ground for an univerfal De- 
luge, were it not that an Opinion hath been 
ftarted by fome of late, that would in effed 
fupplant both thefe Methods, old and new, 
and take away in a great meafure the Subjeft 
of the Queftion. Some modern Authors ob- 
ferving what ftraits they have been put to in 
all Ages, to find out Water enough for Noah's 
Flood, have ventured upon an Expedient more 


The Deluge and Diffolution of the Earth. 3 1 
brisk and bold than any of the Ancients durft 
venture upon : They fay, Noah's Flood was not 
Univerfal, but a National Inundation, con- ^ 
•fin'd to Judea^ and thofe Countries therea- 
bouts i and confequently, there would not 
be fo much Water neceffary for the Caufe of 
it, as we have prov'd to be neceffary for an 
Univerfal Deluge of that kind. Their Infe- 
rence is very true, they have avoided that 
Rock, but they run upon another no lefs dan- 
gerous ^ to avoid an Objection from Reafotl 
they deny matter of Faft, and fuch matter of 
Fad as is well attefted by Hiftory, both Sacred 
and Prophane. I believe the Authors that fet 
up this Opinion, were not themfelves fatisfied 
with it : but feeing infuperable Difficulties in 
the old Way, they are the more excufable in 
chufing, as they thought, of two evils the 

But the Choice, methinks, is as bad on this 
hand, if all things be confider'd ,- Mofes repre- 
fents the Flood of Noah as an Overthrow and 
Deftrudion of the whole Earth ; and who can 
imagine, that in fixteen or feventeen hundred 
Years time (taking the lower Chronology) 
that the Earth had then flood. Mankind fliould 
be propagated no further than Judea^ or fome 
neighbouring Countries thereabouts? After 
the Flood, when the World was renew'd a- 
gain by eight Perfons, they had made a far 
greater Progrefs in j^fia^ Europe^ and Jfricaj 
within the fame fpace of Years, and yet 'tis 
likely they were aiore fruitful in the firft Ages 
of the World, than after the Flood j and they 


3 1 The Theory of the Earth; 
liv'd fixj feven, eight, nine hundred Years a 
piece, getting Sons and Daughters. Which 
Longevity of the firft Inhabitants of the Earth 
feems to have been providentially defign'd for* 
the quicker Multiplication and Propagation of 
Mankind ; and Mankind thereby would be- 
come fo numerous within (ixteen hundred 
Years, that there feems to me to be a greater 
Difficulty from the multitude of the People 
that would be before the Flood, than from the 
want of People. For if we allow the firfl: 
Couple at the end of one hundred Years, or of 
the firft Century,to have left ten pair of Breed- 
ers, which is no hard Suppofition, there would 
arife from thefe, in fifteen hundred Years, a 
greater number than the Earth was capable of ,• 
allowing every Pair to multiply in the fame 
decuple Proportion the firft Pair did. But be- 
caufe this would rife far beyond the Capacities 
of this Earth, let us fuppofe them to increafe, 
in the following Centuries, in a quintuple 
Proportion only, or, if you will, only in a 
quadruple ,• and then the Table of the Multi- 
plication of Mankind, from the Creation to the 
Flood, would ftand thus ,• 

Century i lo 9 '^553^0 




1 6777 2 1 60 




The Deluge and Diffolutm of the Earth. 3 3 
This Produd: is too exceffive high^ if compa- 
red with the prefent number of Men upon the 
face of the Earth, which I think is commonly 
eftimated to be betwixt three and four hun- 
dred Millions,- and yet this Proportion of their 
Increafe feemsto below enough^if wetake one 
Proportion for all the Centuries ,• for, in reali- 
ty, the fame meafure cannot run equally thro' 
all the Agesj but we have taken this as mode- 
rate and reafonable betwixt the higheft and the 
loweft j but if we had taken only a triple Pro- 
portion, it would have been fufficient (all 
things confider'd) for the purpofe.There are fe- 
veral other ways of computing thi.snumber,and 
fome more particular and exadt than this is, but 
which way foever you try, you fiiall find the 
Produft great enough for the Extent of this 
Earth j and if you follow the Septuagint Chro- 
nology, it will ftill be far higher. I have met 
with three or four different Calculations, in 
feveral Authors, of the number of Mankind 
before the Flood, and never met with any yet, 
but what exceeded the number of the People 
.that are at prefent upon the face of the Earth. 
So as it feems to me a very groundlefs and 
forc'd Conceit to imagine, that Judea only, 
and fome parts about it in Afia^ were ftor'd 
with People when the Deluge was brought up- 
on the old World. Befides, if the Deluge 
was confin'd to thofe Countries, I do nor fee 
but the Borderers might have efcap'd, fliifting 
a little into the adjoining Places where the De- 
luge did not reach. But efpecially what need- 
ed fo much^ado to build an Ark to fave Noah 

Book I. D and 

34 The TheoYj of the Earth. 

and his Family , if hq- might jiave fav'd himfelf 
and them, only l^y "retiriqg intp . forae neigh- 
bouring Country 5: asXof and his Family fav'd 
themfelves, by withdrawing frp;ai Sodom when 
the City was to t^e deftroyed c* Had not this, 
b^en afar eafier thing, and more co-nTpendious^-^ 
than the great Preparations he nii^de of a large.- 
VefTel, with Rooms for the Reception and Acr^ 
commodation of Beafls and Birds ? And now. 
I mention Birds, wl%y could not. they at leaft' 
have flovyn into tHe next dry Country? they[ 
might have pearclfd upon the Trees, and the 
tops of the Mountains by the way to have 
refted themfelvesiflhiy, were weary, for tho^ 
Waters did not aQ^pf a fudden rife to the 

I^ountains tops.;'/ 'y r 
^/J cannot but fooK. upon the Dehige as a 

much more confelerable thing, than thefe Au- 
thors Twould repreferit it, and as a kind of 
Diflblution of Nature.. Mo/^x calls it a deftroy- 
ing, of the Eaft-K..^$ well as of Mankind, 
(xeh. .^.t i^. ._^pd the Bow was fet in the. 
Cloud to feal th^ Covenant, that he would de- 
Jtroy the Eartlj^'np- inorey Gen, 9. 11. or that 
there ihould be nbfmore a Flood to deftroy the 
'Earth. And 'tis faid, "verfe 13. that the Co- 
venant was made between God and the Earth, 
or.this Frame of Nature, that it fliouid perilh 
np' more by Waten And the Rain-bow, 
which was a Token and Pledge of this Cove- 
nant, appears not only in Judea^ or fome o- 
ther Afiatick Provinces, but to all the Regions 
of thq £arth, who had an equal Share and; 
CQ|i<;;ern in it. Mofes fai^h alfp tli« Fountains ^ '. 
4- ■ , ' . of I 

The Deluge and Diffolution of the Earth* 3 5 
of the great Abyfs were burft afunder to make 
the Deluge, and what means this Abyfs and 
the burfting of it, if reftrain'd to Judea^ or 
fonie adjacent Countries ? What Appearance 
. is there of this Difruption there^ more than 
in other Places ? Furthermore, St. Peter plain- 
ly implies, 2 Epiji. c. 5. 6, that the Antedilu- 
vian Heavens and Earth perilhed in the Deluge j 
and oppofeth the prefent Earth and Heavens 
to them, as different and of another Conftitu-^ 
tion^ and faith, thatthefefliall perifh byFire, 
as the other perifli'd by Water. So he com-^ 
pares the Conflagration with theDeluge,as two 
general Diflblutions of Nature, and one may 
as well fay, that the Conflagration fiiall beJ 
only National^ and but two or three Coun-^ 
tries burnt in that laft Fire, as to fay that the 
Deluge was fo. I confefs that Difcourfe of 
St. Feter^ concerning the feveral States of the 
World, would luflSciently convince me, if 
there was nothing elfe. That the Deluge was 
not a particular or National Inundation, but d 
mundane Change, that extended to the whole 
Earth, and both to the (lower) Heavens and 

All Antiquity, v/e know, hath fpoke of* 
thefe Mundane Revolutions or Periods, that 
the World fliould be fucceflively deftroy'd by 
Water and Firej and I do not doubt but that 
this Deluge of NoaVs^ which Mofe^ defcribes, 
was the firft and leading Inftance of this kind^ 
and accordingly we fee that after this Period, 
and after the Flood, the Blefling for Multi- 
plication^ and for replenifhing the Earth with In- 

D 2 habitants. 

3 6 The Theory of the Earth. 

habitants, was as folemnly pronounc'd by God 
Almighty, as at the firft Creation of Man, 
Gen. 9. I. with Gen. 1.28. Thefe Confidera- 
tions, 1 think, might be fufficient to give us 
Aflurance from Divine Writ of the Univerfa- 
lity of the Deluge, and yet Mofes affords us 
another Argument as demonftrative as any, 
when in the Hiftory of the Deluge, he faith, 
Ge?i. 7. 19. The Waters exceedingly prevail' d 
upon the 'Earthy and all the high Hills' that were 
under the whole Heamns were cwered. All 
the high Hills, he faith, under the whole Hea- 
"venSj then quite round the Earth ; and if the 
Mountains were cover'd quite round the Earth, 
fure the Plains could not fcape. But to argue 
with them upon their own Grounds : Let us 
fuppofe only the j^fiatick and Armenian Moun- 
tains covered with thefe Waters, this they 
cannot deny j then unlefs there was a Miracle 
to keep thefe Waters upon heaps, they would 
flow throughout the Earth ; for thefe Moun- 
tains are high enough to make them fall every 
way, and make them join with our Seas that 
environ the Continent. We cannot imagine 
Hills and Mountains of Water to have hung 
about Judeay as if they were congeal'd, or a 
Mafs of Water to have flood upon the middle 
of the Earth like one great Drop, or a tremb- 
ling Jelly, and all the Places about it dry and 
untouched. AH liquid Bodies are diffufive ; 
for their parts being in motion have no Tie 
or Connexion one with another, but glide and 
fall off any way, as Gravity and the Air pref- 
feth them ; fo the Surface of Water doth al- 
ways conform into a Spherical Convexity with 

' the 

The Deluge and Dijjohition of the Earth, 37 
the reft of the Globe of the Earth, and every 
part of it falls as near to the Center as it can,- 
wherefore when thefe Waters began to rife 
at firft, long before they could fwell to the 
heighth of the Mountains, they would diffufe 
themfelves every way, and thereupon all the 
Valleys and Plains, and lower parts of the 
Earth would be filled throughout the whole 
Earth, before they could rife to the tops of 
the Mountains in any part of it : And the 
Sea would be all raifed to a confiderable 
heighth before the Mountains could be cover- 
ed. For let's fuppofe, as they do, that this 
Water fell not throughout the whole Earth, 
but in fome particular Country, and there 
made firft a great Lake j this Lake when it 
begun to fwell would every way difcharge it 
felf by any Defcents or Declivities of the 
Ground, and thefe IlTues and Derivations be- 
ing once made, and fupplied with new Wa- 
ters pufliing them forwards, would continue 
their Courfe till they arriv'd at the Sea ; juft 
as other Rivers do, for thefe would be but fo 
many Rivers rifing out of this Lake, and 
would not be considerably deeper and higher 
at the Fountain than in their Progrefs or at 
the Sea. We may as well then exped that 
the Leman Lake, for Inftance, out of which 
the Rhone runs, fliould fwell to the tops of 
the Alpes on the one hand, and the Mountains 
of Switzerland and Burgundy on the other, 
and then ftop, without overflowing the plain- 
er Countries that lie beyond them ; as to fup- 
pofe that this Diluvian Lake fliould rife to 
the Mountains tops in one Place^ and not dif- 
D 3 fufe 

38 Ths Theory of the E a r t h. 
fufe it felf equally into all Countries about, 
and upon the Surta^ce of the Sea ; in Propor- 
tion to its heighth and depth in the Place 
where it firlT: fell or ftood. 

Thus much for Sacred Hiftory._ TheUni- 
verfality of the Deluge is alfo attefted bjj 
profane Hiftory j for the Fame^ of it is gone 
through the Earth, and there are Records or 
Traditions concerning it, in all parts of this 
and the new-found World. The Americans 
do acknowledge and fpeak of it in their Con- 
tinent, as Accfta witnefiTeth, and Laet in their 
Hiftories of them. Mart, The Chinefes have 
the Tradition of it, which is the fartheft part 
of our Continent, and the nearer and Weft- 
ern parts of Ajia is acknowledged the proper 
Seat of it. Not to mention Deucalion s De-» 
luge in the European parts, which feems to bq 
the fame under a difguife : So as you may 
trace the Deluge quite round the Globe in 
profane Hiftory , and which is remarkable, 
every one of thefe People have a Tale to tell, 
fome one way, fome another, concerning the 
Reflauration of Mankind j which is an Argu- 
ment that they thought all Mankind deftroy'd 
by that Deluge. In the old Difpute between 
the Scythians and the ^Egyptians for Antiquity, 
which JuJJin mentions, they refer to a former 
Deftru<3:ion of the World by Water or Fire, 
and argue whether Nation firft rofe again, and 
vvas original to the other. So the Babylonians^ 
Affyrians^ Phanicians and others, mention the 
Deluge in their Stories. And we cannot with- 
out offering Violence to all Records and Au- 
tiiority, DiviPxe and Humane, deny that there 


The Thdrcge a?td Diffohition of the Earth. - 39 
^ath been an univerfal.DeJuge upon the Earth ; 
and if there was an univerfal Deluge, nocjuef- 
tioh it was that of NcaFs, and that which 
Mo fey defcrib'd, and that which we treat of at 
prefent. ' '^"'- -' ■' '- 

Thefe' Confiderations, I think, are abun- 
dantly fufficient to filence that Opinion, con- 
cerning the Luiiitation and Reflriition of the 
Deluge to a particular Country or Countries. 
It ought rather to be lookt upon as an Evafion 
indeed than Opinion, feeing the Authors do 
not offer any pofitive Argument for the Proof 
of it, but depend only upon that negative Ar- 
gument,. That an univerfal Deluge is a thing 
unintelligible. This flumbling-ftone we hope 
to take away for the future, and that Men 
fliall not be put to that unhappy Choice, ei- 
ther to deny Matter of Fact: well attefted, or 
admit an Effect, whereof they cannot fee any 
pollible Caufes. And fo having itated and 
propos'd the whole Difficulty, and try'd all 
ways offer'd by others, and found them jnef- 
fe(!:tua!,let us now apply our felves by degrees 
to unty the Knot. 

The exceflive Qiiantity of Water is the great 
Difficulty, and the Removal of it afterwards. 
Thofe eight Oceans lay heavy upon my 
Thoughts, and I caft about every way fo find 
an Expedient, or to find fome way whereby 
the fame Effed might be brought to pafs witii 
lefs Water, and in fuch a manner, that that 
Water might afterwards conveniently be dif- 
charg'd. The firft Thought that came into 
my Mind upon that Occafion, was concerning 
the Form of the Earth, which I imagin'd 

D 4 mi^ht 

'40 TheThecryof the Earth.' 

might pofTibly at that time be different frora 
what it is at prefent, and come nearer to Plain- 
nefs and Equality in the Surface of it, and fo 
might the more eaiily be overflovv'd, and the 
Deluge perform'd with lefs Water. This Opi- 
nion concerning the PJainnefs of the firfl: Earth, 
I alfo found in Antiquity, mentioned and rer 
fer'd to by feveral Interpreters in their Com- 
mentaries upon Genefu^ either upon Occafion 
of the Deluge, or of that Fountain which is 
faid, Gen, 2. 6. to have watered the Face of 
the whole Earth : And a late eminent Perfon, 
the Honour of his Profeilion for Integrity and 
Learning, in hisDifcourfe concerning the Or/- 
g-nation of Mankind^, hath made a like Judg- 
ment of the State of the Earth before the De- 
luge, that the Face of it was more fmooth and 
and regular than it is now. But yet upon fe- 
cond Thoughts, I eafily fee that this alone 
would not be fufficient to explain the Deluge, 
nor to give an Account of the prefent Form of 
the Earth, unequal and mountainous as it is. 
'Tis true this would give a great Advantage 
to the Waters, and the Rains that fell for 
Forty Days together would have a great Pow- 
er over the Earth, being plain and imooth ; 
but how would thefe Waters be difpos'd of 
w^hen the Deluge ceas'd ? or how could it ever 
jceafe ? Be/ides, what means the Difruption of 
the great Deep^ or the great Abyfs^ or what 
anfwers to it upon this Suppofition ? This was 
aOuredly of no lefs Coniideration than the 
ijains, nay, I believe, the Rains were but pre- 
paratory in fome meafure, and that the Vio- 
|^n;:e and Cor^fvimination of the Deluge de- 
'' ' • ' ^ pended 

The Deluge and Diffolution of the Earth. 41^ 
pended upon the Difruption of the great A- 
byfs* Therefore I faw it necefl^iry, to my 
firft Thought, concerning the Smoothnefs and 
Plainnefs of the Antediluvian Earth, to add 
a fecond, concerning the Difruption and Dif- 
folution of itj for as it often happens in Earth- 
quakes, when the exterior Earth is burft a- 
funder, and *a great Flood of Waters iiTues 
out, according to the Qiiantity and Force of 
them, an Inundation is made in thofe parts, 
more or lefs ; fo I thought, if that Abyfs lay 
under Ground and round the Earth, and we 
fliould fuppofe the Earth in this manner to be 
broken in feveral Places at once, and as it 
were a general Diffolution made, we might 
fu^ofe that to make a general Deluge^ as 
well as a particular Diffolution often makes a 
particular. But 1 will not anticipate here the 
Explication we intend to give of ^Iie univer- 
fal Deluge in the following Chapters; only by 
this previous Intimation we may gather fome 
Hopes, it may be, that the Matter is .not fo 
defperate as the former Reprefentation might 
poffibly make us fancy it. 

Give me leave to add farther in this Place, 
that it hath been obferv'd by feveral, from the 
Contemplation of Mountains and Rocks and 
Precipices^ of the Channel of the Sea, and of 
Iflands, and of Subterraneous Caverns, that 
the Surface of the Earth, or the exterior Re- 
gion which we inhabit, hath been broke, and 
the parts of it diflocated : And one might in- 
ftance more particularly in feveral Parcels of 
Nature, that retain ftill the evident Marks of 
Fraftion and Ruin -, and by tlieir prefent 


42 The Theory of thi Earth. 

Form and Pofture fliow, that they have been 
once in another State and Situation one toano- 
^er. ' 3.We .fliall have occafon hereafter to 
give an Account of thti^ Th^notnena^ from 
which feveral have rightly argu'diand conclu- 
ded fome general Rupture or Ruin in the fu- 
perficial parts of the Earth. BFUt this Ruin, it 
istrue, they have imagined and explained fe- 
veral waysj fome thinking that it was ; made 
theii/V^I)/^3' after the Foundation of the Earth; 
when they fuppofe the Channel of the Sea to 
have been form'd, and Mountains and Ca- 
verns at the Xame time, by a violent Depref- 
fion of fome parts of the Earth, and an Ex- 
trufion and Elevation of othejs to make them 
room* Others fuppofe it to have come tot 
all at once, but by degrees, -at. feveral times^ 
and in feveral ^gts^ from particular and ac- 
cidental Qiufes, as the Earth falling in upon 
Rres under Ground, or Water eating away 
the lower Parts, or Vapours and Exhalations: 
breaking out, and tearing the Earth. 'Tis 
true, I am. not of their Opinion in either of 
thefe Explications ,• and wefhall fliow at large: 
hereafter, when we have propos'd and ftated 
our own Theory, how incompetent fuch Cauies 
are, to bring the Earth into that Form and 
Condition we now find it ii>. . But in the mean 
time, we may fo far makeule of thefe Opi- 
nions in general, as not to be ftartled at this 
Dodrine, concerning the Breaking or DilTolu- 
tion of the exterior Earth j for in all Ag-es 
the Face of Nature hath provpk'd Men- to 
think of and obferve fuch a thiJig: And v;ho 


The Deluge and DiJJolution of the Earth. 4 j 
can do otherwife, to fee the Elements dif- 
phc'd and diforder'd, as they feem to lie at 
prelentj the heavieft and grofleft Bodies in 
t.h^ higheft Places^ and the liquid and volatile 
1^'^pt below ; an huge Mafs of Stone or Rock 
fear'd into the Air, and the Water creeping 
at its Feet ; whereas this is the more light and 
^dive body, and by the Law of Nature 
fliould take place of Rocks and Stones ? So 
we fee, by the like diforder, the Air thrown 
down into Dungeons of the Earth, and the 
Earth got up among the Clouds ; for there are 
the tops of the Mountains, and under their 
roots in Holes and Caverns the Air is often 
detain d. By what regular Adion of Nature 
can we fuppofe things firft produc'd in this Pof- 
ture and Form ? Not to mention how broke 
and torn the inward Subftance of the Earth is, 
which of it felf is an uniform Mafs, clofe and 
compad : but in the Condition we fee it, it 
lies hollow in many places, with great Vacui- 
ties intercepted betwixt the Portions of it ^ 4 
thing which we fee happens in all Ruins more 
or lefs, efpecially when the parts of the Ruins 
are great and inflexible. Then what can have 
more the Figure and Mien of a Ruin, than 
Crags and Rocks and Cliffs, whether upon the 
Sea ftiore, or upon the Sides of Mountains > 
what can be more apparently broke, than they 
are ? and thofe lefler Rocks, or great bulky 
Stones that lie often fcatter'd near the Feet of 
the other, whether in the Sea, or upon the 
Land, are they not manifeft Fragments, and 
Pieces of thofe greater Maffes ? Belides, the 


44 The Theory of the E a r t ]». 

Pofture of thefe Rocks, which is often leaning 
or recumbent, or proftrate, ihows to the Eye, 
that they have had a Fall, or fome kind of Dif- 
location from their natural Site. And the fame 
thing may be obferv'd in the Tracks and Re^ 
gions of the Earth, which very feldom for lo 
Miles together have any regular Surface or 
Continuity one with another, but lie high and 
low, and are varioufiy inclined fometimes one 
way, fometimes another, without any Rule 
or Order. Whereas I fee no Reafon but the 
Surface of the Land fhould be as regular as 
that of the Water in the firft Producftion of it ; 
and the Strata or Beds within lie as even. 
This I am fure of, that this Difpofition of the 
Elements^ and the parts of the Earth, out- 
ward and inward, hath fomething irregular 
and unnatural in it, and manifeftly fliews us 
the Marks . or Footfteps of fome kind of 
Ruin and Diflblution ; which we fhall fliew 
you, in its due place, happen'd in fuch a way, 
that at the fame time a general Flood of Wa- 
ters would necefifarily over-run the Face of 
the whole Earth. And by the fame fatal blow, 
the Earth fell out of that regular Form, where- 
in it was produced at firft, into all thefe Irre- 
gularities which we fee in its prefent Form 
and Compofition, fo that we fhall give there- 
by a double Satisfadion to the Mind, both to 
fliew it a fair and intelligible account of the 
general Deluge, how the Waters came upon 
the Earth, and how they return'd into their 
Channels again, and left the Earth habitable 5 
and likewife to fiiew it how the Mountains 


The Deluge and Dijjolution of the Earth 45 
were brought forth, and the Channel of the 
Sea difcover'd: How all thofe Inequalities 
came in the Body or Face of the Earth, and 
thofe empty Vaults and Caverns in its Bowels; 
which things are no lefs matter of Admiration 
than the Flood it felf. 

But I muft beg leave to draw a Curtain be- 
fore the Work for a while, and to keep your 
Patience a little in fufpenfe, till Materials are 
prepared, and all things ready to reprefent and 
explain what we have propos'd. Yet I hope 
in the mean time to entertain the Mind with 
Scenes no lefs pleafing, though of quite ano- 
ther Face and Order : for we muft now return 
to the beginning of the World, and look up- 
on the firft Rudiments of Nature, and that 
dark but fruitful Womb, out of which all 
things fprang, I mean the Chaos : For this is 
the matter which we muft next work upon, 
and it will be no unpleafing thing to obierve, 
how that rude Mafs will flioot it felf into fe- 
veral Forms, one after another, till it comes at 
length to make an habitable World. The 
fteady Hand of Providence, which keeps all 
things in Weight and Meafure, being the in- 
vifible Guide of all its Motions. Thefe Mo- 
tions we muft examine from firft to laft, to 
find out what w^as the Form of the Earth, and 
what was the Place or Situation of the Ocean, 
or the great Abyfsjin that firft State of Nature : 
Which two things being determin'd, we fhall 
be able to make a certain Judgment, what 
kind of Diflolution that Earth was capable of, 
and whether from that Diffolutiop an Univer- 

4<5 The Theory of the IE. aktu. 

fai Deluge would follow, with all the Confe- 
quences of it. 

In the mean time, for the Eafe and Satis- 
fadion of the Reader, we will here mark the 
Order and Diftribution of the firft Book, which 
we divide into three Sedionsj whereof the 
6rJbis thefe three Chapters paft t in the fecond 
Se(5i:ion we will fhew, that the Earth before 
the Deluge was of a different Frame and Form 
fram . the prefent Earth ; and particularly of 
fuch a Form as made it fubjed to a Diflblution : 
And to fuch a Diflblution, as did neceflarily 
expofe it to an univerfal Deluge. And in this 
place: we fliall apply our Difcourfe particular- 
ly to the Explication of Noah's Flood, and 
that under all its Conditions,of the heighth of 
the Waters, of their Univerfality, of the Der 
firudion of the World by them, and of their 
retiring afterwards from the Earthy and this 
Sedion will confift of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, 
Seventh and Eighth Chapters. In the Third 
Sedion we prove the fame Diflblution from 
the Effeds and Confequences of it, or from 
the Contemplation of the prefent Face of the 
£arth : And here an account is given of the 
Origin of Mountains, of Subterraneous Wa- 
ters and Caverns, of the great Channel of the 
Sea, and of the rirft Produdion of Iflands j and 
thofe things are the Contents of the Ninth,- 
Tenth and Eleventh Chapters.- Then, in the 
laft Chapter, we make a general Review of the 
whole Work, and a general Review of Na- 
ture ; that by comparing them together, theit 
full Agreement and Correfpondency may ap- 

The Deltas and Diffolution of the'Earth. 47 
pear. Here feveral collateral Arguments f^e 
given for Canfirnv^tion of the preceding 11>^- 
oryj-^nd fopie Refledions are ma,de upoHithe 
flat^ ;Of the other Planets compar'd with the 
^artli. And .laftly^ what. :Ac.eoi[ints foever 
h^ve been give^i by others of the prefent Foji^l 
and .Irregularities of the Earthy are exanVfnJd 
and ihew'd inlpfficient. , And this f^emeth, itQ 
be ail that is requifite upon> this Subje<a«:.(ii n/: 

. lliifS 

Chap. IV. ' ^^ 

That the Earth and Mankind had an Original^ 
and were not from Eternity rPro'v'd againft 
Ariftotle. The firji Propojition of our Theo- 
ry laid down^ viz. That the Antediluvian 
Eai'th was of a different Form and Confirm:^ 
tion from the prefent. This is prov'd by I>i^ 
irine Authority^ and fro?n the Nature and 
form of the Chaos^ out of which the Earth 
wasi?iade, ■ i--\ 

WE are now to enquire into the Ori- 
ginal of the Earth-^and in what Form 
it was built at firftj that we may lay 
our Foundation for the following Theory deep 
and fure. It hath been the general Opinion 
and Confent of the Learned of all Nations, 
that the Earth arofe from a Chaos. This ia 
^ttefted by Hiftory, both Sacred and Profane ; 
only Ariftotle^ whom fo great a part of the 
Chriftian World have made their Oracle or 
Idolj hath maintain'd the Eternity of the Earthy 
and the Eternity of Mankind i that, the E^rth 


48 The Theory of the E a r t h: 
and the World were from Everlafting, and in 
that very Form they are in now, with Men 
and Women and all living Creatures, Trees 
and Fruit, Metals and Minerals, and what- 
foever is of natural Produdion. We fay all 
thefe things arofe and had their firft Exiftence 
or Produftion not fix thoufand Years ago : He 
faith, they have fubfifted thus for ever, thro* 
an infinite Series of paft Generations, and 
fliall continue as long, without firft or laft : 
And if fo, there was neither Chaos, nor any 
other beginning to the Earth. This takes a- 
way the Subjed of our Difcourfe, and there- 
fore we muft firft remove this Stone out of the 
Way, and prove that the Earth had an Origi- 
nal, and that from a Chaos, before we fliew 
how it arofe from a Chaos, and what was the 
firft habitable Form that it fettled into. 

We are affur'd by Divine Authority, that 
the Earth and Mankind had a beginning ^ Mo- 
fes faith, In the beginning God made the Hea- 
'cens and the Earth. Speaking it as of a cer- 
tain Period or Term from whence he counts 
the Age of the World. And the fame Mofes 
tells us, that Adam was the firft Man, and E've 
the firft Woman, from whom fprung the Race 
of Mankind ; and this within the Compafs of 
fix thoufand Years. We are alfp aifured from 
the Prophets, and our Chriftian Records, that 
the World ihall have an End, and that by a 
general Conflagration, when all Mankind fhall 
be deftroy'd, with the Form and all the Fur- 
niture of the Earth. And as this proves the Je- 
cond part of Arifiotle'^ Doftrine. to be falfe im- 

media, tely, 

The Deluge and Blffolution of the Earth. 4^' 
mediately, fo doth it the firft, by a true Con- 
fequence , for what hath an end had a begin- 
ning, what is not Immortal, was not Eternal i 
That which exifts by the ftrength of its own 
Nature at firft, the fame Nature will enable 
to exift for ever; and indeed what exifts of it 
felf, exifts neceflarily j and what exifts necef- 
farily, exifts eternally. 

Having this infallible AfTurance of the Ori- 
gin of the Earth and of Mankind from Scrip- 
ture, we proceed to refute the fame Dodrine 
of Arijiotle's by natural Reafon. And we will 
firft confider the Form of the Earth, and then 
Mankind; and fliew from plain Evidence and 
Obfervation, neither of them to have been 
Eternal. "Tis natural to the Mind of Man to 
confider that which is compound, as having 
been once more fimple ; whether thatCom-r 
pofition be a Mixture of many Ingredients,' as 
moft Terreftrial Bodies are, or whether it be 
Organical ; but efpecially if it be Organicai : 
For a thing that confifts of a multitude of 
Pieces aptly Join'd, we cannot but conceive to 
have had thofe Pieces, at one time or another, 
put together. 'Twere hard to conceive an e- 
ternal Watch, whofe Pieces were never fepa- 
rate one from another, nor ever in any other 
Form than that of a Watch. Or an eternal 
Houfe, whofe Materials were never afunder, 
but always in the form of an Houfe. And 
'tis as hard to conceive an Eternal Earthy or an 
Eternal World: Thefe are made up of more 
various Subftances, more Ingredients, and in- 
to a far greater Conapofition i and the living 

Book I. E part 

50 The Theory of the Earth. 

part of the World, Plants and Animals, have 
much more variety of parts and multifarious 
Conftrudion, than any Houfe, or any other 
artificial Thing: So that we are led as much 
by Nature and Neceffity to conceive this great 
Machine of the World, or of the Earth, to 
have been once in a ftate of greater Simplici- 
ty than now it is, as to conceive a Watch, an 
Houfe, or any other Structure, to have been 
once in its firft and fimple Materials. This I 
fpeak without Reference to immediate Crea- 
tion, for Ariftotle did not own any fuch thing, 
and therefore the Argument ftands good a- 
gainft him, upon thofe Grounds and Notions 
that he goes^ yet I guefs what Anfvver would 
be made by him or his Followers to this Ar- 
gumentation ; They would fay there is not 
the fame Reafon for Natural Things, as for 
Artificial, though equally compounded. Ar- 
tificial things could not be from Eternity, be- 
caufe they fuppofe Man, by whofe Art they 
were made, pre-exiflent to them ; the Work- 
man muft be before the Work, and whatfoe- 
ver hath any thing before it, is not Eternal. 
But may not the fame thing be faid of Natu- 
ral things ? Do not moft of them require the 
Adion of the Sun, and the Influence of the 
Heavens for their Production, and longer Pre- 
parations than any Artificial things do ? Some 
Years orAges would be neceflfary for the Con- 
coftion and Maturation of Metals and Mine- 
rals y Stones themfelves, at leaft fome forts of 
them, were once Liquors or fluid Mafles,- 
and all vegetable Productions require the Heat 


The Deluge and Dijjblution of the Earth. 5 1 
of the Sun, to predifpofe and excite the Earth, 
and the Seeds. Nay, according to Arifiotlc^ 
'tis not Man by himfelf that begets a Man, but 
the Sun is his Coadjutor. You fee then 'twas 
2ls neceflary that the Sun, that great Work- 
man of Nature, fliould pre-exift to Natural 
things, produced in or upon the Earth, as that 
Man fliould pre-exift to Artificial. So that 
the Earth under that Form and Conftitution 
it now hath, could no more be Eternal, than 
a Statue or Temple, or any work of Art. 

Befides, that Form, which the Earth is un- 
der at prefent, is in fome fort preter-natural, 
like a Statue made and broken again j and fo 
hath ftill the lefs Appearance or Pretence of 
being Eternal. If the Elements had lain in 
that Order to one another, as Arijiotle hath 
difpos'd them, and as feems to be their firft 
Difpofition j the Earth altogether in a Mafs in 
the middle, or towards the Centre , then the 
Water in a Spherical Mafs about that ^ the 
Air above the Water, and then a Sphere of 
Fire, as he fancied, in the higheft Circle of the 
Air : If they had lain, I fay, in this Pofture, 
there might have been fome Pretence that they 
had been Eternally fo ; becaufe that might 
feem to be their Original Pofture, in which 
Nature had firft plac'd them. But the Form 
and Pofture we find them in at prefent is very 
different, and according to his Dodrine muft 
be look'd upon as unnatural and violent; and 
no violent State, by his own Maxim, can be 
perpetual, or can have been (0. 

E a But 

5 2 The Theorj of the E a r t k. 

But there is ftill a more prefling Confidefa- 
tion againft this Opinion. If this prefent State 
and Form of the Earth had been from Eterni- 
ty, it would have long e*er this deftroy'd it 
felf, and chang'd it felf : The Mountains fink- 
ing by degrees into the Valleys, and into the 
Sea, and the Waters rifing above the Earth ; 
which Form it would certainly have come into 
fboner or later, and in it continu'd drowned 
and uninhabitable, for all fucceeding Genera- 
tions. For 'tis certain, that the Mountains and 
higher parts of tiie Earth grow lelTer and lef- 
fer from Age to Age ; and that from many 
Caufes, fometimes the Roots of them are 
weaken'd and eaten by Subterraneous Fires, 
and fometimes they are torn and tumbled 
down by Earthquakes, and fail into thofe 
Caverns that are under them ; and tho' thofe 
violent Caufes are not conftant, or univer- 
fal, yet if the Earth had flood from Eternity, 
there is not a Mountain would have efcap'd 
this Fate in one Age or other. The Courfe 
of thefe Exhalations or Fires would have 
reach'd them all fooner or later, if through 
infinite Ages they had ftood exposed to them. 
But there are alfo other Caufes that confume 
them infenfibly, and make them fink by de- 
grees ; and thofe are chiefly the Winds, Rains, 
and Storms, and Heat of the Sun without ; 
and within, the foaking of Water and Springs, 
with Streams and Currents in their Veins and 
Crannies. Thefe two forts of Caufes would 
certainly reduce all the Mountains of the 
Earth, in trait of time, to Equality j or ra- 

The Deluge and DiJJolntion of the Earth. 53 
ther lay theni all under Water : For whatfoe- 
ver nioiilders or is waflit away from them, is 
carried down into the lower Grounds, and 
into tlie Sea, and nothing is ever brought 
back again by any Circulation : Their Loiles 
are not repaired, nor any proportionable Re- 
cruits made from any other parts of Nature. 
So as the higher parts of the Earth being con- 
tinually fpending, and the lower continually 
gaining, they mufl: of nece/Tity at length come 
to an Equality ,• and the Waters that lie in the 
lower parts and in the Channels, thofe Chan- 
nels and Valleys being fiU'd up with Earth, 
would be thruft out and rife every where up- 
on the Surface of the Earth ,• which new Pofl: 
when they had once feiz'd on, they would ne- 
ver quit it, nor would any thing be able to 
difpollefs them ,• for *tis their natural Place and 
Situation which they always tend to, and from 
which there is no Progrefs nor Regrefs in a Courfe 
of Nature. So that the Earth would have 
been, both now, and from innumerable Ge- 
nerations before this, all under Water and un- 
inhabitable j if it had flood from Everlafting, 
and this Form of it had been its firft original 

Nor can he doubt of this Argumentation, 
that confiders the Coherence of it, and will 
allow time enough for the effed:. I do not 
fay the Earth would be reduc'd to this unin- 
habitable Form in ten thoufand Years time, 
though I believe it would : but take twenty, 
if you pleafe, take an hundred thoufand, take 
a million, 'tis all one, for you may take the 


-> one 

54 The Theory of the Earth. 
one as eafily as the other out of Eternity ; and 
they make both equally againft their Suppo- 
fition. Nor is it any matter how little you 
fuppofe the Mountains to decreafe, 'tis but 
taking more time^ and the fame effed: ftill fol- 
lows. Let them but wafie as much as a grain 
of Muftardfeed every day, or a Foot in an Age, 
this would be more than enough in ten thou- 
flmd Ages to confume the talleft Mountain 
upon Earth. The Air alone, and the little 
drops of Rain have defac'd the ftrongeft and 
the proudeft Monuments of the Greeks and 
Homajts i and allow them but time enough, 
and they will of themfelves beat down the 
Rocks into the Sea, and the Hills into the 
Valleys. But if we add to thefe all thofe o- 
ther foremention'd Caufes that work with 
more Violence, and the weight of the Moun- 
tains themfelves, which, upon any occafion of- 
fer'd, is ready to fink them lower, we fliall 
ftiorten the time, and make the effed: more 

We need add no more here in particular 
againft this Arifiotelian Dodrine, that makes 
the prefent Form of the Earth to have been 
from Eternity ; for the Truth is, this whole 
Book is one continued Argument againft that 
Opinion ^ fliewing that it hath de fa£to chang'd 
its Form , both in that we have prov'd that 
it was not capable of an univerfal Deluge in 
this Form, and confequently was once under 
;;inother; and alfo in that we (hall prove at 
large hereafter throughout the Third and 
Fourth Seflions, that it hath been broken and 


The Deluge and DiJJblution of the Earth. 5 5 
difToIv'd. We might alfo add one Confidera- 
tion more^ that if it had ftood always under 
this Form, it would have been under Fire, if 
it had not been under Water,- and the Con- 
flagration^ whichit is to undergo, would have 
overtaken it long e'er this. For St. Peter 
faith, the Heavens and the Earth that are now, 
as oppos'd to the Ante-diluvian, and confidered 
in their prefent Form and Conftitution, are 
fitted to be confumed by Fire. And whofoe- 
ver underftands the Progrefs and Revolutions 
of Nature, will fee that neither the prefent 
Form of the Earth, nor its firft Form, were 
permanent and immutable Forms, but tran- 
sient and temporary by their own Frame and 
Conftitution ; which the Author of Nature, 
after certain Periods of time, had defign'd for 
Change and for Deftrudion. 

Thus much for the body of the Earth, that 
it could not have been from Eternity, as Arif- 
totle pretended, in the Form it hath. Now 
let's confider the Origination of Mankind ; 
and that we fliall find could much lefsbe Eter- 
nal than the other ; for whatfoever deftroy'd 
the Form of the Earth, would alfo deftroy 
Mankind ; and befides, there are many parti- 
cular Marks and Arguments, that the Gene- 
rations of Men have not been from Everlaft- 
ing. All Hiftory, and all Monuments of An- / 
tiquity of what kind foever, are but of a few 
thoufand of Years date ; we have ftill the Me- 
mory of the golden Age, of the firft ftate of 
Nature, and how Mortals liv'd then in Inno- 
cencyand Simplicity. The Invention of Arts, 

E 4 even 

5 5 The Theory of the Earth. 

even thpk that are necelTary or ufeful to Hur 
mane Life, hath been within the Knowledge 
of Men : How imperfed was the Geography 
of the Ancients, how imperfed their Know- 
ledge of the Earth, how imperfeft their Na- 
vigation ? Can we imagine, if there had been 
Men from Everlafting, a Sea as now, and all 
Materials for Shipping as much a$ we have, 
fhat Men could have been fo ignorant, both 
of the Land and of the Sea, as 'tis manifeft 
they have been till of late Ages? They had 
yery different Fancies concerning the Figure 
pf the Earth. They knew no Land beyond 
our Continent, and that very imperfedly too j 
ancl the Torrid Zone they thought utterly un- 
inhabitable. We think itftrange, taking that 
Jhort date of the World, which we give it, 
that Men fliould not have made more Pro- 
gress in the Knowledge of thefe things ; but 
how impoffible is it then, if you fuppole them 
to have been from Everlafting ? They had the 
f-mie Wit and Pafllons that we have, the fame 
Monves that we have, can we then imagine, 
that neither the Ambition of Princes, nor In- 
tereft or Gain in private Perfons, nor Curiofi- 
ty and the Delire of Knowledge, nor the Glo- 
ry of Difcoyeries, nor any other Paflion or 
Confideration could eyer move them in that 
endlefs time, to try their Fortunes upon the 
Sea, and know fomething more of the World 
jthey inhabited ? Though you fliould fuppofe 
them generally ftupid, which there is no rea- 
son to do, yet in a Courfe of infinite Genera- 
tions, ' there would be fome great Genij, 

The Deluge and Diffolutm of the Earth. 57 
fbme extraordinary Perfons that would attempt 
Things above the reft. We have done more 
within the compaf^ of our little World, which 
we can but count (as to this) from the gene- 
ral Deluge, than thofe Eternal Men had done 
in their innumerable Ages foregoing. 

You will (iiy it may be, they had not the 
Advantages and Opportunities for Navigation 
as we have, and for Difcoveries ; becaufe the 
ufeof the Loadftone,and the Mariners Needle 
was not then known. But that's the wonder, 
that either that Invention, or any other fliould 
not be brought to light till t other Day, if the 
World had flood from Eternity. I fay this or / 
any other practical Invention^ for fuch things, 
when they are once found out and known, 
are not eafily loft again, becaufe they are of 
daily Ufe. And 'tis in moft other pradlical 
Arts as in Navigation, we generally know their 
Original and Hiftory: who the Inventors, and 
by what degrees improv'd, and how few of 
them brought to any Perfection till of late 
Ages. AH the Artificial and Mechanical World 
is, in a manner, new ; and what you may call 
the Chil JVcrld too is in a great meafure fo. 
What relates to Government, and Laws^ to 
Wars and Difcipline; we can trace thefe things 
to their Origin, or very near it. The Ufe of 
Money and of Coins, nay the Ufe of the ve- 
ry Elements -, for they tell us of the firft In- 
vention of Fire by Prometheus^ and the em- 
ploying of Wind or Water to turn the Mills 
^nd grind their Corn was fcarce known before 
the Roviaiis^ Plm, /. 7. c. 56. And that we 


5 8 The Theory of the E a r t h. 

may think nothing Eternal here, they tell us 
the Ages and Genealogies of their very Gods. 
Themeafures of Time for the common ufesof 
Life, the dividing it into Hours, with the 
Inftruments for thofe Purpofes, are not of an 
unknown Date : Even the Arts for preparing 
Food and Cloathing, Medicines and Medica- 
nients. Building, Civil and Military, Letters 
and Writing, which are the Foundations of 
the World Civil : Thefe, with all their Reti- 
nue of leffer Arts and Trades that belong to 
them, Hiftory and Tradition tell us, when 
they had their beginning, or were very im- 
perfedl , and how many of their Inventors and 
InventrefTes were deify'd. The World hath 
not flood fo long but we can ftill run it up to 
thofe Artlefs Ages, when Mortals Hv'd by 
plain Nature ; when there was but one Trade 
in the World, one Calling, to look to their 
Flocks ; and afterwards to Till the Ground, 
when Nature grew lefs liberal : And may we 
not reafonably think this the beginning of 
Mankind, or very near it ? If Man be a Crea- 
ture both naturally fagacious to find out its 
own Conveniencies, and naturally fociableand 
inclin d to live in a Community, a little time 
would make them find out and furnifli them- 
felves with what was neceflary in thefe two- 
Kinds, for the Conveniencies of fingle Life,and 
the Conveniencies of Societies j they would not 
have liv'd infinite Ages unprovided of them. 
If you fay Neceffity is the Mother of Arts and 
Inventions, and there was no Neceffity be- 
fore, and therefore thefe Things were foflow- 

The Deluge and Diffolution vf the Earth. 59 
ly invented -, this is a good Anfwer upon 
our Suppofition, that the World began but 
fome Ages before thefe were found out, and 
was abundant with all Things at firft ; and 
Men not very numerous, and therefore were 
not put fo much to the ufe of their Wits, to 
find out Ways for living commodioufly. But 
this is no Anfwer upon their Suppofition , for 
if the World was Eternal and Men too, there 
were no firft Ages, no new and freih Earth ,• 
Men were never Jefs numerous, nor the Earth 
more fruitful ; and confequently there was 
never lefs Neceflity at any time than is now. 
This alfo brings to mind another Argument 
againft this Opinion (diz.) from the gradual 
Increafe of Mankind. 'Tis certain the World 
was not fo populous one or two Thoufand 
Years fince, as it is now, feeing 'tis obferv'd 
in particular Nations, that within the fpace of 
two or three Hundred Years, notwithftanding 
all Cafualties, the number of Men doubles. 
If then the Earth had flood from Everlafting, 
it had been overftockt long e'er this, and 
would not have been capable to contain its 
Inhabitants many Ages and Millions of Ages 
ago. Whereas w^e find the Earth is not yet 
fufficiently Inhabited, and there is ftill room 
for fome Millions. And we muft not fly to uni- 
verfal Deluges and Conflagrations to deftroy 
Mankind ; for befides that the Earth was not 
capable of a Deluge in this prefentForm, nor 
would have been in this Form after a Confla- 
gration, Arijiotle doth not admit of thefe uni- 
verfal Changes^ nor any that hold the Form of 


6o The Theory of the E a r t h. 

the Earth to be Eternal. But to return to 
our Arts and Inventions. 

We have fpoken of pradical Arts and In- 
ventions ufeful in humane Life^ then for The- , 
oretical Learning and Sciences, there is no- ' 
thing yet jRnifii'd or conipleat in thefe ; and 
what is known hath been chiefly the Produc- 
tion of latter Ages. How little hath been dif- , 
covered till of late, either of our own Bodies, 
or of the Body of the Earth, and of the 
Functions or Motions of Nature in either ? 
What more obvious, one wopld think, than 
the Circulation of the Blood ? What can 
more excite our Curiofity than the flow- 
ing and ebbing of the Sea ? Than the Na^- 
ture of Metals and Minerals ? Thefe are 
either yet unknown, or were fo at leafl till 
this laft Age ,• which feems to me to have made 
a greater Progrefs than all Ages before put to- 
gether, fince the beginning of the World. How 
unlikely is it then that thefe Ages were Eter- 
nal ? That the Eternal Studies of our Forefa- 
thers could not effeft fo much as a few Years 
have done of late i And the whole Mafs of 
Knowledge in this Earth doth not feem to be 
fo great, but that a few Ages more, with 
two or three happy Genius's in them, may 
bring to light all that we are capable to un- 
derftand in this ftate of Mortality. 

To thefe Arguments concerning the Novel- 
ty of the Earth, and the Origin of Mankind, 
I know there are fome fliuffling Excufes made, 
but they can have little effed upon thofe In- 
ftances we have chofen. And I would ask 


The Deluge and Diffolution of the Earth. 6i 
thofe Eternalifts one fair Qieftion, What Mark 
is there that they could exped: or defire of the 
Novelty of a World, that is not found in this ? 
Or what Mark is there of Eternity that is 
found in this ? If then their Opinion be with- 
out any pofitive Argument, and agahr.ft all 
Appearances in Nature, it may be juftly re- 
jefted as unreafonable upon all Accounts. 
'Tis not the bold aflerting of a Thing that 
makes it true, or that makes it credible a- 
gainft Evidence. If one fliould aflert that 
fuch an one had liv'd from all Eternity, 
and I could bring Witneffes that knew 
him a Sucking Child, and others that remem- 
bred him a School-boy, I think it would be a 
fair Proof, that tie Man was not Eternal. So 
if there be Evidence, either in Rcafon or HiC- 
tory, that it is not very many Ages fince Na- 
ture was in her Minority, as appears by all 
thofe Inftances we have given above j fome 
whereof trace her down to her very Infancy : 
This, I think, may be taken for a good Proof 
that Ihe is not Eternal. And I do not doubt, 
but if the Hiftory of the World was writ 
Philofophically, giving an Account of the fe- 
veral States of Mankind in feveral Ages, and 
by what Steps or Degrees they came from 
their firft Rudenefs or Simplicity to that Or- 
der of Things, both Intelle^ual and Civil, 
which the World is advanced to at prefent. 
That alone would be a full Conviftion, that 
the Earth and Mankind had a beginning. As 
the Story of Rome^ how it rofe from a meaa 
Original, by what degrees it increas'd,"" 


6i The' Theory of the Earth. 

and how it chang'd its Form and Government 
till it came to its Greatnefs, doth fatisfy us ve- 
ry wella that the Roman Empire was not Eter- 

Thus much concerning the Temporal Ori- 
ginal of the Earth. We are now to confider 
the manner of it, and to fhew how it rofe 
from a Chaos. I do not remember that any 
of the Ancients that acknowledge the Earth 
to have had an Original, did deny that Origi- 
nal to have been from a Chaos. We are af- 
fur'd of both from the Authority of Mofef^ 
who faith, that in the beginning the Earth 
Vf2LS Tohu Bohu, without Form and Void ^ a 
fluid, dark, confus'd Mafs, without Diftinc- 
tion of Elements ; and made up of all Variety 
of Parts, but without Order, or any determinate 
Form j which is the true Defcription of a 
Chaos : And fo it is underftood by the gene- 
ral Confent of Interpreters, both Hebrew and 
Chriftian. We need not therefore fpend any 
time here to prove, that the Origin of the 
Earth was from a Chaos, feeing that is agreed 
on by all that give it any Origin. But we will 
proceed immediately to examine into what 
Form it firft rofe when it came out of that 
Chaos ; or what was the primaeval Form of 
the Earth, that continued till the Deluge, and 
how the Deluge depended upon it, and up- 
on its DifTolution. 

And that we may proceed in this Enquiry 
by fuch eafy fteps as any one may readily fol- 
low, we will divide it into Three Propofitions, 
whereof the firft is this in general i that the:^ 


The Deluge and Dijfolutionof the Earth. 63 
For?n of the Antedilwvian Earthy or of the Earth 
that roje fir ft from the Chaos, was different from 
the Form of the frefsnt Earth. I fay diffhent in 
general, without fpecifying yet what its parti- 
cular Form was, which fliall be expreft in the 
following Propofition. 

ThisfirftPropofition we have in efFe<5l prov'd 
in the Second Chapter ^ where we have fliewn, 
that if the Earth had been always in this Form, 
it would not have been capable of a Deluge ; 
feeing that could not have been effeded 
without fuch an infinite Mafs of Water as 
could neither be brought upon the Earth, nor 
afterward any way removed from it. But we 
will not content our felves with that Proof 
only, but will prove it alfo from the Nature 
of the Chaos, and the manifeft Confequences 
of it. And becaufe this is a leading Propofi- 
tion, we think it not improper to prove it al- 
fo from Divine Authority, there being a preg- 
nant Paffage to this Purpofe in the Writings 
of St. Peter. Where treating of this very 
Subjed:, the Deluge, he manifeftly puts a dif- 
ference between the Antediluvian Earth and 
the prefent Earth, as to their Form and Con- 
ftitution. The Difcourfe is in the Second E- 
piftle of St. Peter, the third Chapter, where 
certain Deifts, as they feem to have been, 
laught at the Prophecy of the Day of Judg- 
ment, and of the Conflagration of the World, 
ufing this Argument againft it,Thatfince theFa^ 
thers fell a/leep, all th'mgs ha've continued as they 
were from the begimiing. All External Nature 
hath continued the fame without any remark- 
I able 

64 The Theory of the Earth; 
able Change or Alteration, and why fliouM 
we believe (fay they) there will be any? 
What Appearance or what Foundation is there 
of fuch a Revolution, that all Nature will be 
diflblv'd, and the Heavens and the Earth con- 
fum'd with Fire, as your Prophecies pretend ? 
So from the Permanency and Immutability of 
Nature hitherto, they argu'd its Permanency 
and Immutability for the future. To this the 
Apoftle anfwers, that they are willing to for- 
get that the Heavens and the Earth of old had 
a particular Form and Conftitution as to Wa- 
ter, by reafon whereof the World that then' 
was, periflit by a Deluge. And the Heavens; 
and the Earth that are now, or fince the De- 
luge, hsve a particular Conftitution in refe- 
rence to Fire, by reafon whereof they are ex- 
pos'd to another fort of DeftrucSion or Diflb- 
lution, namely by Fire, or by an univerfal. 
Conflagration. The Words of the Apoftle,' 
Chap. 3. verfe 5, 6, 7. are thefe ; For this they 
are willwgly ignorant of, that by the Word of 
God the Hean)em were of old, and the Earth, 
confifting of Water, and by Water -, or (as we 
render it) /landing out of the Water, and in the 
Water : whereby the World that then was, be- 
ing overflowed zvith Water, ferifht. But the 
Heavens and the Earth that are ?iow, by the 
fame Word are kept in fore, refers d unto Fire 
againfl the Day of Judgment, We fliall have 
occalion, it may be, hereafter to give a full II- 
luftration of thele Words j but at prefent we 
-fliall oniy take notice of this in general, that 
the Apoftie here doth plainly intimate fome 


The Deluge and Diffolntion of the Earth. 6^ 
difference that Was between the old World 
and the prefent World, in their Form and 
Conftitutionj or betwixt the Antediluvian 
and the prefent Earth, by reafon of which 
difference, that was fubjeft to perifli by a De^ 
luge, as this is fubjed to perifh by Conflagra- 
tion. And as this is the general Air and Im^ 
portatice bf this Difcourfe of the Apoflle'sj 
which every one at firfl: fight would difcover ,^ 
fo We may in feveral particular ways prove 
fi'om it our firfl Propofition, Which now we 
muft return to ; {n)iz.) That the Form and 
Conftitution of the Antedilwvian Earth was dif* 
ferent from that of the prefent Earth. This 
may be infer'd from the Apoflle's Difcourfe^ 
Mrft, becaufe he makes an oppofition betwixt 
thefe two Earths,or thefe two natural Worlds ^ 
and that not only iri refpeft of their Fate, the 
one perifhing by Water, as the other will pe* 
rifh by Fire, but alfo in refped of their diffe- 
rent Difpdfition and Conftitution leading to 
this different Fate ; for dtherwife his fifth "verfe 
is fuperfluous, and his Inference in the fixth un-* 
grounded ; you fee he premifeth in the fifth 
'verfe as the grbund of his Difcourfe, what the 
Conftitution of the Antediluvian Heavens and 
Earth was, and then infers from it in the fixth 
'verfe^ that they therefore pecifht in a Deluge 
of Water. Now if they had been the fame 
with ours, there had neither been any ground 
for making an Oppofition betwixt them, nor 
any ground of making a contrary Inference as 
to their Fate. Befides, in that he implies that 
the Conftitution of die Antediluvian Earth was 
fuch, as made it fubjed: to a Deluge ^ he ftiews 

Book I. F that 

66 The Theory of the E a r t h. 

that it was different from the Conftitution of 
the prefent Earth 5 for the Form of that is fuch^ 
as makes it rather incapable of a Deluge, as 
we have fliewn in the fecond Chapter. Then 
we are to obferve further, that when he faith 
('verfe 6.) that the firft World perifli'd in a 
Deluge, or was deftroy'd by it ^ this is not to 
be underftood of the Animate World only. 
Men and living Creatures, but of the Natu- 
ral World, and the Frame of it ,• for he had 
defcrib'd it before by the Heavens and the 
Earth, which make the Natural World. And 
the Objeftion of the Atheifts, or Deifts ra- 
ther, which he was to anfwer, proceeded up- 
on the Natural World. And laftly, this pe- 
rifliing of the World in a Deluge, is fet a- 
gainft, or compar'd with the perifhing of the 
World in the Conflagration, when the Frame 
of Nature will be diflolv'd. We muft there- 
fore, according to the Tenor of the Apoftle's 
arguing, fuppofe, that the Natural World was 
deftroy'd or perifh'd in the Deluge , and fee- 
ing it did not perifh as to Matter and Subftance, 
it muft be as to the Form, Frame and Com- 
pofitionof it, that it perifli'd ,• and confequent- 
iy, the prefent Earth is of another Form and 
Frame from what it had before the Deluge j 
which was the thing to be proved. 

Laftly, Let us conlider what it is the Apo- 
ftle tells thefe Scoffers that they were igno- 
rant of: Not that there was a Deluge, they 
could not be ignorant of that; nor doth he 
tell them that they were. But he tells them 
that they were ignorant that the Heavens and 


The Deluge and Diffolution of tJje Earth. Cj 
the Earth of old were fo and fo conftituted, 
.after a different manner than they are now, 
;aiid that the State of Nature was changed at 
the Deluge j if they had known or attended 
to this, they had made no fuch Objedion, nor 
us'd any fuch Argument as they did againft 
the future Conflagration of the World. They 
pretended that there had been no Change in 
Nature lince the beginning, and the Apoftle 
in anfwer tells them, that they are willingly 
ignorant of the firft Conftitution of the Hea- 
vens, and the Earth, and of that Change and 
Diflblution that happen'd to them in the De- 
luge ; and how> the prefent Heavens and 
Earth have another Conftitution , whereby 
in like manner they are expos'd, in God's due 
time, to be confum'd or diffolv'd by Fire* 
This is the plain, eafy and natural Import of 
the Apoftle's Difcourle ^ thus all the parts of 
it are coherent, and the Senfe genuine and ap- 
pofite, and this is a full Confirmation of our 
firft and general AfTertion, That the Antedi- 
luvian Earth was of another Tor?n frojn the 
frefent Earth. This hath been obferv'd for- 
merly by fome of the Ancients from this 
Text, but that it hath not been generally ob-^ 
ferv'd, was partly becaufe they had no Theo- 
ry to back fuch an Interpretation, and make 
it intelligible ^ and partly becaufe they did 
not obferve, that the Apoftle's Difcourfe here 
was an Argumentation, and not a bare Affir- 
mation, or fimple Contradidion to thofe that 
rais'd the Scruple ^ 'tis an Anfwer upon a 
Ground taken, he premifeth^ and then infers-, 

F 2 in 

(58 The Theory of the E a r t h. 

in the fifth and fixth VerfeSj concerning the 
Deluge,- and in the fe'venth^ concerning the 
Conflagration. And when I had difcover'd 
in my Thoughts from the Confideration of the 
Deluge^ and other natural Reafons, that the 
Earth was certainly once in another Form, it 
was a great AfTurance and Confirmation to 
me, when I refleded on this place of St. 
Peters,; which feems to be fo much direfted 
and intended for the fame Purpofe, or to teach 
us the fame Conclufion, that though I defign'd 
chiefly a Philofophical Theory of thefe things, 
yet I iliould not have thought we had been 
jufl: to Providence, if we had neglefted to 
take Notice of this Paflage and Sacred Evi- 
dence,- which feems to have been left us on 
purpofe to excite our Enquiries, and ftreng- 
then our Reafonings, concerning the firft State 
of things. Thus much from Divine Authority : 
We proceed now to prove the fame Propofi- 
tion from Reafon and Philofophy, and the 
Contemplation of the Chaos, from whence 
the firft Earth arofe. 

We need not upon this Occafion make a 
particular Defcription of the Chaos, but only 
confider it as a fluid Mafs, or a Mafs of all 
forts of little Parts and Particles of Matter 
mixt together, and floating in Confufion, one 
with another. ^Tis impoflible that the Sur- 
face of this Mafs fliould be of fuch a Form 
and Figure , as the Surface of our prefent 
Earth is. Or that any Concretion or confiftent 
State which this Mafs could flow into imme- 
diately^ or firft fettle in^, could be of fuch a 


The Deluge and Diffoltition of the Earth. 69 
Form and Figure as our prefent Earth. The 
firft of thefe AlTertions is of eafy proof; for 
a fluid Body^ we know^ whether it be Water 
or any other Liquor, always cafts it felf into 
a fmooth and fpherical Surface; and if any 
Parts, by Chance, ar by fome Agitation, be- 
come higher than the reft,they do not continue 
fo,but glide down again every way into the low- 
er Places, till they all come to make a Surface 
of the fame height, and of the fame diftance 
every where from the Center of their Gravi- 
ty. A Mountain of Water is a thing impoC- 
fible in Nature, and where there are no Moun- 
tains there are no Valleys. So alfo a Den or 
Cave within the Water, that hath no Walls 
but the liquid Element, is a Structure un- 
known to Art or Nature ; all things there 
mud be full within, and even and level with- 
out, unlefs fome External Force keep them 
by Violence in another Pofture. But is this 
the Form of our Earth, which is neither re- 
gularly made within nor without ? The Sur- 
face and exterior Parts are broken into all 
forts of Inequalities, Hills and Dales, Moun- 
tains and Valleys j and the plainer Tracks of 
it lie generally inclin d or bending one way 
or other, fometimes upon an eafy Defcent, 
and other times with a more fenfible and un- 
eafy Steepnefs ; and though the great Moun- 
tains of the Earth were taken all away, the 
remaining parts would be more unequal than 
tbe rougheft Sea; whereas the Face of the 
Earth fliould refemble the Face of the calmeft 
Sea, if it was ftill in the Form of its firft Mafs. 

F 3 But 

7© The Theory of the Earth. 
But what fliallwe fay then to the huge Moun- 
tains of the Earthy which lie fometimes in 
Lumps or Clufters heapt up by one another, 
fometimes extended in long Ridges or Chains 
for many hundred Miles in length? And 'tis 
remarkable, that in every Continent, and in 
every ancient and original Ifland, there is ei- 
ther fuch a Clufter, or fuch a Chain of Moun- 
tains. And can there be any more palpable 
Demonftrations than thefe are, that the Sur- 
face of the Earth is not in the fame Form that 
the Surface of the Chaos was, or that any fluid 
Mafs can ftand or hold it felf in? 

Then for the Form of the Earth within or 
under its Surface, 'tis no lefs impoffible for 
the Chaos to imitate that , for 'tis full of Ca- 
vities and empty Places, of Dens and broken 
Holes, whereof fome are open to the Air, and 
others cover'd and enclofed wholly within the 
Ground. Thefe are both of them unimitable 
in any liquid Subftance^ whofe Parts will ne- 
ceffarily flow together into one continued 
Mafs, and cannot be divided into Apartments 
snd feparate Rooms, nor have Vaults or Ca- 
verns made within it,- the Walls would fink, 
and the Roof fall in : For liquid Bodies have 
nothing to fuftain their Parts, nor any thing 
to cement them ] they are all loofe and inco- 
herent, and in a perpetual Flux: Even an 
heap of Sand or fine Powder will fiiffer no 
Hollownefs within them, though they be dry 
Subftances, and though the Parts of them be- 
ing rough, will hang together a little, and 
iland a little upon ap heap s but the Parts of 

The Deluge and Diffolution of. the Earth, 7 1 
Liquors being glib, and continually in mo- 
tion, they foil off from one another, which 
way foever Gravity inclines them, and can 
neither have any Hills or Eminencies on their 
Surface, nor any Hollownefs within their Sub- 

You will acknowledge, it may be, that 
this is true, and that a liquid Mafs or Chaos, 
while it was liquid, was incapable pf eithier 
the outward or inward Form of the Earth ; 
but when it came to a Concretion, to a ftate 
of Conliftency and Firmnefs,thenit might go, 
you'll fay, into any Form. No, not in its iirft 
Concretion, nor in its firft State of Confif- 
tence j for that would be of the fame Form 
that the Surface of it was when it was liquid, 
as Water when it colngeals, the Surface of the 
Ice is fmooth and level, as the Surface of the 
Water was before j fo Metals, or any other 
Subftances melted, or Liquors that of them- 
felves grow ftiff and harden, always fettle in- 
to the fime Form which they had when they 
were laft liquid, and are always folid within, 
and fmooth without, unlefs they be caft in a 
Mould, that hinders the Motion and Flux of 
the Parts. So that the firft concrete State or 
confiftent Surface of the Chaos, muft be of 
the fame Form or Figure with the laft liquid 
State it was in ,• for that is the Mould, as it 
were, upon which it is caft ; as the Shell of 
an Egg is of a like Form with the Surface of 
the Liquor it lies upon. And therefore by 
Analogy with all other Liquors and Concre- 
tions, the Form of the Chaos, whether liquid 

F 4 or 

7 2 The Theory of the E a r t h. 

or concrete, could not be the fame with that 
of the prefent Earth, or like it : And confe- 
quently, that Form of the firft or primigenial 
Earth which rofe immediately out of the Cha- 
os, was not the fame, nor like to that of the 
prefent Earth. Which was the firft and pre- 
paratory Propofition we laid down to be prov'd. 
And this being prov'd by the Authority both 
of ourReafon and our Religion, we will now 
proceed to the fecond which is more particu- 

Chap. V. 

The Second Propofition is laid down, viz. That 
the Face of the Earth before the Deluge 
was fmooth, regular and uniform j with- 
out Mpuntains, and without a Sea. The 
Chaos out of which the World rofe is fully ex-r 
amin^d, and all its 'Motions obferifd, and by 
%vhat fiefs it wrought it felf into an habitable 
jVorld. Some things in Antiquity relating to 
the fir jl State of the Earth are interpreted, and 
fome things in the Sacred Writings, The Di'vine 
Art and Geometry in the Conftru^fion of the 
jirfl Earth is obferv'd and celebrated. 

WE have feen it prov'd, in the forego- 
ing Chapter, That the Form of the 
firft or Antediluvian Earth was not 
the fame, nor like the Form of the prefent 
Earth. This is our firft Difcoveryat a diftance, 
but 'tis only general and negative, tells us what 
the Form of that Earth was not, but tells us 
pot exprefly what it was j that muft he our 
' next 

The Deluge and Diffolutm of the Earth, yj" 
next Enquiry, and advancing one ftep further 
in our Theory, we lay down this fecond Pro- 
pofition : That the Face of the Earth before the 
Deluge was fmooth^ regular a?id uniform ; with- 
out Mountains^and without a Sea, This is a bold 
ftepjand carries us into another World, which 
we have never feen, nor ever yet heard any rela* 
tion of: and a World^it feems^of very different 
Scenes and Profpeds from ours, or from any 
thing we have yet known. An Earth without a 
Sea^and plain as the ElyfianViQlds ; if you travel 
it all over, you will not meet with a Moun- 
tain or a Rock, yet well provided of all re- 
quifite things for an habitable World ; and the 
fame indeed with the Earth we ftill inhabit, 
only under another Form. And this is the 
great thing that now comes into debate, the 
great Paradox which we offer to be examined, 
and which we affirm, That the Earth, in its 
firfl: Rife and Formation from a Chaos, was 
of the Form here defcrib'd, and fo continued 
for many hundreds of Years. 

To examine and prove this, we muft return 
to the beginning of the World, and to that 
Chaos out of which the Earth and all Sublu- 
nary things arofe ; 'Tis the Motions and Pro- 
grefs of this which we muft now confider, and 
what Form it fettled into when it firft became 
an habitable World. 

Neither is it perhaps fuch an intricate thing 
as we imagine at firft fight, to trace a Chaos , 
into an habitable World ; at leaft there is a 
particular Pleafure to fee things in their Ori- 
gin^ and by what degrees "and fucceifive 


74 T'he Theory of the E a r t h. 

Changes they rife into that Order and State 
we fee them in afterwards, when compleated* 
I am fure, if ever we would view the Paths 
of Divine Wifdom, in the Works and in the 
Gondud: of Nature, we muft not only confix 
der how things are, but how they came to b^ 
fo. 'Tis pleafant to look upon a Tree in the 
Summer, covered with its green Leaves, deckj^ 
with Bloflbms, or laden with Fruit, and cafting 
a pleafing fliade under its fpreading Boughs ; 
but to confider bow this Tree, with all its Fur- 
liiture, fprang from a little Seed ; how Nature 
jiiap'd it, and fed it, in its Infancy and Growth ; 
added new Parts, and ftill advanced it by lit- 
tle and little, till it came to this Greatnefs 
and Perfedion : This, methinks, is another fort 
of Pleafure, more rational, lefs common, and 
which is properly the Contemplation of Di- 
vine Wifdom in the Works of Nature. So to 
view this Earth, and this Sublunary World, 
as it is now compleat, diftinguifht into the fe- 
veral Orders of Bodies of which it confifts, er 
very one perfed and admirable in its kind ; 
this is truly delightful, and a very good Enter- 
tainment of the Mind^ But to lee all thefe in 
their firft Seeds, as I may fo fliy ; to take in 
pieces this Frame of Nature, and melt it down 
.into its firft Principles j and then to obferve 
how the Divine Wifdom wrought all tbefe 
things out of Confufion into Order, and out 
of Simplicity into that beautiful Compofition 
we now fee them in ; this, methinks, is ano- 
jther kind of Joy, which pierceth the Mind 
juore deep, and is more fati$fadory. And to 
•i^ive our felves and others this SitistiKTrian, we 


Tdif -^r 

IBcrck I. Jb'u^ 


The Deluge and Diffolution of the Earth. 75 
will firft make a fliort Reprefentation of the 
Chaos, and then lliew, how, according to 
Laws eftabliflit in Nature by the Divine Pow- 
er and Wifdom, it was wrought by degrees 
from one Form into another, till it fettled at 
length into an habitable Earth ; and that of 
fuch a Frame and Structure, as we have de- 
fcrib'd in this fecond Propofition. . 
I By the Chaos I underftand the Matter of the 
'Earth and Heavens, without Form or Order; 
reduc'd into a fluid Mafs, wherein are the 
Materials and Ingredients of all Bodies, but 
mingled in Confufion one with another. As 
if you fliould fuppofe all forts of Metals^ 
Gold, Silver, Lead, dye. melted down toge- 
ther in a common Mafs, and fo mingled, that 
the parts of no one Metal could be difcern'd 
as diftinft from the reft, this would be a little 
Metallick Chaos ; Suppofe then the Elements 
thus mingled, Air, Water and Earth, which 
are the Principles of all Terreftrial Bodies ; 
mingled, I fay, without any Order of higher 
or lower, heavier or lighter, folid or volatile, 
in fuch a kind of confus'd Mafs as is here re- 
prefented in the firft Scheme. 

Let this then reprefent to us the Chaos ; in 
which the firft Change that we ftiould imagine 
to happen would be this, that theheavieft and 
groifeft parts would fink down towards the 
middle of it, (for there we fuppofe die Cen- 
ter of its Gravity) and the reft would float 
above. Thefe grofler parts thus funk down 
and comprefs'd more and more, would harden 
by degrees, and conftitute the interiour parts 
pf the Earth, The reft of the Mafs, which 


7 6 The Theory of the E a r t h. 

fwims above, would be alfo divided by the 
fame Principle of Gravity into two Orders 
of Bodies, the one liquid like Water, the o- 
ther volatile like Air. For the more fine and 
aftive Parts difentangling themfelves by de- 
grees from the reft, would mount above them ; 
and having Motion enough to keep them upon 
the Wing, would play in thofe open Places 
where they conftitute that Body we call A i r. 
The other Parts being groffer than thefe, and 
having a more languid Motion, could not fly 
up feparate from one another, as thefe did, 
but fettled in a Mafs together, under the Air, 
upon the Body of the Earth, compofing not 
only Water ftriftly fo called, but the whole 
Mafs of Liquors, or liquid Bodies, belonging 
to the Earth. And thefe firft Separations be- 
ing thus made, the Body of the Chaos would 
Hand in that Form which it is here reprefented 
in by the fecond Scheme. 

The liquid Mafs which encircled the Earth, 
was not, as I noted before, the mere Element 
of Water, but a CoUedlion of all Liquors 
that belong to the Earth. I mean of all that 
do originally belong to it. Now feeing there 
are two chief kinds of Terreflrial Liquors, 
thofe that are fat, oily and light ; and thofe 
that are lean and more earthy, like common 
Water ; which two are generally found in 
compound Liquors ; we cannot doubt but 
there were of both forts in this common Mafs 
of Liquids. And it being well known, that 
thefe two kinds mixt together, if left to them- 
felves and the general Acftion of Nature, fe- 
'parateone from another when they come to 


IBoak I. I'ia-^. 

la^ ,'7- 

3'.rX- ,. A/.+ 

la^^. yy. 

JBcrak . t . yUi 

The Deluge and DiJJolution of the Earth. 77 
fettle, as in Cream and thin Milk, Oil and 
Water, and fuch like ; we cannot but con- 
clude, that the fame Effect would follow here, 
and the more oily and light part of this Mafs 
Would get above the other, and fwim upon it. 
The whole Mafs being divided into two let 
fer Maffes, and fo the Globe would ftand as 
we fee it in the third Figure. 

Hitherto the Changes of the Chaos are ea- 
{y and unqueftionable, and would be difpatcht 
in a fliort time , we muft now look over a- 
gain thefe two great Maffes of the Air znd 
Water^ and confider how their Impurities or 
grofler Parts would be difpos'd of; for we 
cannot imagine but they were both at firft 
very muddy and impure : And as the Water 
would have its fediment, which we are not 
here concerned to look after, fo the great Re- 
gions of the Air would certainly have their fe- 
diment too j for the Air was as yet thick, grofs 
and dark, there being an abundance of little 
Terreftrial Particles fwimming in it ftill, after 
the grofleft were funk down ; which, by their 
Heavinefs and lumpifli Figure, made their way 
more eafily and fpeedily. The lefler and light- 
er which remain'd, would fink too, but more 
(lowly, and in a longer time ; fo as in their 
Defcent they would meet with that oily Li- 
quor upon the Face of the Deep, or upon the 
watery Mafs, which would entangle and flop 
them from paifing any further ^ whereupon 
mixing there with that undious Subftance, 
they composed a certain (lime, or fat, foft, and 
light Earth, fpread upon the Face of the Wa- 
tersi as 'tis reprefented in the fourth Figure, 

I " This 

78 The Theory of the E a r t k. 

This thin and tender Orb of Earth increas'd 
ftill more and more, as the little earthy Parts 
that were detained in the Air could make their 
way to it. Some having a long Journey from 
the upper Regions, and others being very 
light would float up and down a good while^ 
before they could wholly difengagetliemfelves 
and defcend. But this was the general Ren- 
dezvous, which fooner or later they all got to, 
and mingling more and more with that oily 
Liquor, they fuckt it all up at length, and 
tvere wholly incorporate together, and fo be- 
gan to grow more ftiff and firm, making both 
but one Subftance, which was the firft Con- 
cretion, or firm and confident Subftance that 
rofe upon the Face of the Chaos. And the 
whole Globe flood in this Pofture, as in Fi- 
gure the fifth. 



The Deluge and Diffolutmioj the Earth. 75 

It may be, you will fay^ we take our Li- 
berty, and our own time for the Separation of 
thefe two Liquors, the oily and the earthy^ 
the lighter and the heavier j and fuppofe that 
done before the Air was clear'd of Earthy 
Particles, that fo they might be catcht and 
flopt there in their Defcent. Whereas if all 
thefe Particles were fallen out of the Air be- 
fore that Separation was made in the liquid 
Mafs, they would fall down through the 
Water, as the firft did, and fo no Concre- 
tion would be made, nor any earthy Cruft 
form'd upon the Face of the Waters, as we here 
fuppofe there was. 'Tis true, there could be 
no fuch Orb of Earth form'd there, if the Air 
was wholly purg'd of all its earthy Parts before 
the Mafs of Liquids began to purify it felf, and 
to feparate the oily Parts from the more hea- 
vy : But this is an unreafonable and incredible 
Suppofition, if we confider, the Mafs of the 
Air was many thoufand times greater than the 
Water, and w^ould in Pro{X)rtion require a 
greater time to be purified ^ the Particles that 
were in the Regions of the Air having a long 
way to come before they reacht the Watery 
Mafs , and far longer than the oily Particles 
had to rife from any part of that Mafs to the 
Surface of it. Ee/ides, we may fuppofe a great 
many degrees of Littlenefs and Lightr.efs in 
thefe earthy Particles , fo as many of them 
might float in the Air a good while, like Ex- 
halations, before they fell down. And laftly, 
We do not fuppofe the Separation of thefe, two 
Liquors wholly made and iinilht before the 
I Purgation 

8o The Theory of the E a r t h; 
Purgation of the Air began, though we repre- 
fent them fo for Diftindion fake y Let them 
begin to purify at the fame time, if you pleafe, 
thefe parts riling upwards, and thofe falling 
downwards, they will meet in the middle^ 
and unite and grow into one Body, as we 
have defcrib'd. And this Body or new Con-- 
cretion would be increas'd daily, being fed 
and fupply'd both from above and below ; and 
having done growing, it would become more 
dry by degrees, and of a Temper of greater 
Confiftency and Firmnefs, fo as truly to re- 
femble and be fit to make an habitable Earth, 
fuch as Nature intended it for. 

But you will further objed, it may be, that 
fuch an Effed as this would indeed beneceiGTa- 
ry in fome Degree and Proportion, but not in 
fuch a Proportion^, and in fuch Qiiantity as 
would be fuflficient to make this Cruft or Con- 
crete Orb an habitable Earth. This I confefs 
appeared to me at firft a real Difficulty^ 
till I confider'd better the great Difproportion 
there is betwixt the Regions of the Air and 
the Circumference of the Earth, or of that 
exterior Orb of the Earth, we are now a 
making ; which being many thoufand times 
lefs in Depth and Extent than the Regions of 
the Air, taken as high as the Moon, though 
thefe earthy Particles we fpeak of were ve- 
ry thinly difpers'd through thofe vaft Tracks of 
the Air, when they came to be collected and 
amafs'd together upon the Surface of a far 
lefler Sphere, they would conftitute a Body 
of a very confiderable Thicknefs and Solidity* 


The Deluge and Dijjchition of the Earth, gi 
We fee the Earth fometimes covered with 
Snow two or three Feet deep, made tip only 
of little Flakes or Pieces of Ice, which fall- 
ing from the middle Region of the Air, and 
meeting with the Earth in their Defcent, are 
there ftopt and heapt up one upon another. 
But if we fhould fuppofe little Particles of 
Earth to fhower down, not only from the mid- 
dle Region, but from the whole Capacity and 
Extent of thofe vaft Spaces that arc betwixt us 
and the Moon, tve could not imagine but 
thefe would cdnftitute an Orb of Earth fome 
thoufands of times deeper than the greatefl 
Snowj which being increas'd and fwoln by 
that oily Liquor it fell into, and incorporated 
with, it would be thick, ftrong, and great e- 
nough in ail refpefls to render it an habitable 

We cannot doubt therefore but fuch a Bo- 
dy as this would be form'd, and would be 
fufficient in Quantity for an habitable Earths 
Then for the Qiaality of it, it will anfwer all 
the Purpofes of a hifing World. What can be 
a more proper Seminary for Plants and Ani- 
I mals, than a Soil of this Temper and Com- 
pofition ? A finer and lighter fort of Earth, 
hiixt with a benign Juice, eafy and obedient ^ 
to the Adlion of the Sun, or of what other 
Caufes were employ'd by the Author of Na- 
ture, for the Produdion of things in the new- 
made Earth. What fort or difpolition of mat-^ 
ter could be more fit and ready to catch Life 
from Heaven, and to be drawn into all Forms 
that the Rudjmei^ti of Life, or the Bodies of 
V Book L G living- 

§2 The Theory of the Earth. 

living Creatures would require ? What Soil 
more proper for Vegetation than this warm 
Moifture, which could have no Fault, unlefs it 
was too Fertile and Luxuriant ? And that is 
no Fault neither at the beginning of a Worlds 
This I am fure of, that the Learned amongft 
the Ancients, both Greeks^ JEgyptiam^ Phoe-- 
nicians^ and others, have defcrib'd the primi^ 
genial Soil, 'uvg Tpw re/f vvj?, or the Temper of the 
Earth, that was the firft Subject for the Gene- 
ration and Origin of Plants and Animals, af- 
ter fuch a manner, as is truly exprefs'd, and I 
think with advantage, by this Draught of the 
Primigenial Earth. 

Thus much concerning the matter of the 
firft Earth* Let us refledl a little upon the 
Form of it alfo, whether External or Internal j 
both whereof do manifeftly fliew themfelves, 
from the manner of its Produdion or Forma- 
tion. As to the External Form, you fee it 
is according to the Propofition we were to 
prove, fmooth^ regular and unifor?n^ without 
moufitamsy and without a Sea. And the 
Proof we have given of it is very eafy ,* The 
Globe of the Earth could not poflibly rife 
immediately from a Chaos into the irregular 
Form in which it is at prefent. The Chaos 
being a fluid Mafs, which we know doth ne- 
cefTarily fall into a Spherical Surface, whofe 
Parts are equi-diftant from the Center, and 
confequently in an equal and even Convexity 
one with another. And feeing upon the Di- 
ftindion of a Chaos and Separation intofeve- 
ral Elementary MalTeSj the Water would na- 


TI:e Deluge and DiJJoIution of the Earth. 83 
turally have a fuperiour Place to the Earth, 'tis 
manifeft, that there could be no habitable 
Earth form'd out of the Chaos, unlefs by 
fome Concretion upon the Face of the Water. 
Then laftly, feeing this concrete Orb of Earth 
upon the Face of the Water would be of the 
fame Forrn with the Surface of the Water it 
was fpread upon, there being no Caufes, that 
we know of, to makfe any Inequality in it^ we 
muft conclude it equal and uniform, and with- 
out Mountains, as alfo without a Sea ^ for the 
Sea and all the Mafs of Waters was enclos'd 
within this exteriour Earth, which had no o- 
ther Bafis or Foundation to reft upon. 

The Contemplation of thefe things, and of 
this Pofture of the Earth upon the Waters, 
doth fo ftrongly bring to Mind certain PafTa- 
ges of Scripture, (which will recur in another 
Place) that we cannot, without Injury to 
Truth, pafs them by here in filence. Paflages 
that have fuch a manifeftRefemblanceand A- 
greement to this Form and Situation of the 
Earth, that they feem viiibly to point at it: 
Such are thofe ExprefTions of the Pfalmift,G^<i 
hath founded the Earth upon the Seas. And in 
another Pfalm, fpeaking of the Wifdom an4 
Power of God in the Creation, he faith. To 
him 7vho alone doth great Wonders ; to him that 
by Wifdom made the Hea'vens; to him that ex- 
tended or flretched out the Earth above the War 
tet'S. What cati be more plain or proper to 
xlenote that Form of the Earth that we have 
•defcrib'd, and to exptefs particularly the Xn- 
dofure of the Waters within the Earth, as 

G t we 

S4 The Theory of the E a r r i^. 

we have reprefented them? He faith in ano'^ 
ther Place ; By the Word of the Lord were the 
Hea'vens made-, he flout up the Waters of the Sect 
as in Bags^ (for fo the Word is to be render'd, 
and is render'd by all, except the Englijh) and 
laid up the Abyfs as in Store-houfcs, This, you fee^ 
is very conformable to that Syftemof the Earth . 
and Sea^ which we have proposed here. Yet 
there is fomething more exprefs than all this 
in that remarkable place in the Proverbs of 
Solomon^ where Wifdom declaring her Antiqui- 
ty and Exiftence before the Foundation of the 
Earth, amongft other things faith, Vroi.\ 8.27. 
When he prepared the Uea'veny^ I zvas there : 
When he drew an Orb o'ver the Surface of the 
Abyfs i or when he fet an Orb upon the Face 
of the Abyfs. We render it in the Englijh a 
Compafs^ or Circle^ but 'tis more truly ren- 
der'd an Orb or Sphere^ and what Orb 01: 
Spherical Body was this, which at the Forma- 
tion of the Earth was built and plac'd round 
about the Abyfs; but that wonderful Arch, 
whofe Form and Produdion we have defcrib'd, 
encompafling the Mafs of Waters, which in 
Scripture is often call'd the Abyfs or Deep ? 
[See Fig, 5. f. 78. This Orb is reprefented by 
the Circle i. and the Abyfs by the Region 2. J 
Laftly, This Scheme of the firft Earth gives 
Light to that Place we mention'd before of 
St. Peters^ where the firft Earth is faid to 
confiji of Water ^ and hy Water -^ and by reafon 
thereof was obnoxious to a Deluge. The 
firft Part of this Charafter is plain from the 
Defcription now given : and the fecond will 


The Belli ge and DiJJoliition of the Earth. 85 
appear in the following Chapter. In the mean 
time, concerning thefe Paffiiges of Scripture, 
which we have cited, we may truly and mo- 
deftly f-iy, that though they would not, it may 
be, without a Theory premised, have been ta- 
ken or interpreted in this Senfe -, yet this Theo- 
ry being premis'd, I dare appeal to any unpre- 
judiced Perfon, if they have not a foirer and ea- 
sier, a more full and more emphatical Senfe, 
when apply'd to that Form of the Earth and Sea, 
we are now fpeaking of, than to their prefent 
Form, or to any other we can imagine. 

Thus much concerning the external Form 
of the fir ft Earth. Let us now refle(ft a little 
upon the internal Form of it, which confifts 
of feveral Regions, involving one another 
like Orbs about the fame Center, or of the 
feveral Elements caft circularly about each 
other j as it appears in the Fourth and Fifth 
Figure. And as we have noted the External 
Form of this primeval Earth, to have been 
markt and celebrated in the Sacred Writings ; 
fo likewife in the Philofophy and Learning of 
the Ancieats, there are feveral Reni'^iins and In- 
dications of this Internal Form and Compofi- 
tion of it. For 'tis obfervable, that the An- 
cients in treating of the Chaos, and in raifing 
the. World out of it, rang'd it into feveral Re- 
gions or Maftes, as we have done j and in 
that Order fuccefTively, rifing one from another, 
as if it was a Pedegree or Genealogy, And 
thofe Parts and Regions of Nature, into which 
the Chaos was by degrees divided, they fig- 
nified commonly by dark and obfcure Names, 
as the Nighty Tartarm^ Oceanus^ and fuch like, 

G 3 which 


85 The Theory of the E a r t h, 
which we have exprefs'd in their plain and pro- 
per Terms. And whereas the Chaos, when 
it was firft fet on work, ran all into Divifions, 
and Separations of one Element from ano- 
ther, which afterwards were all in fome Mea- 
fure united and aflfociated in this Primigenial 
Earth ; the Ancients accordingly niade Co7iten- 
tion the Principle that reign'd in the Chaos at 
firft, and then Lo've : The one to exprefs the 
Divifions, and the other the Union of all 
Parties in this middle and common Bond. 
Thefe, and fuch like Notions which we find 
in the Writings of the Ancients figuratively 
and darkly deliver'd, receive a clearer Light, 
when compard with this Theory of the Char 
qsy which reprefenting every thing plainly,^ 
and in its natural Colours, is a Key to their 
Thoughts, and an lUuftration of their obfcu- 
rer Philofophy, concerning the Original pf thg| 
World j as we have fhewn at large in the La^ 
tin Treatife, Lib. 2. chap, 7. 

There is another thing in Antiquity, rela^ 
ting to the Form and Conftruc^ion of the 
Earth, which is very remarkable, and hath 
obtain'd throughout all learned Nations and 
Ages. And that is the Comparifon or Refem- 
blance of the Earth to an Egg, And this is 
pot fo much for its External Figure, though 
that be true too, as for the inward Compo- 
fition of it j confifting of feveral prbs, one 
including another, and in that Order, as to 
anfwer the feveral Elementary Regions^/ of 
which the new made Earth was conftituteda 
f pr if vve adniip for the Tclk a Central Firi^ 


The Deluge and Biffolution of the Earth, 87 
(which though very reafonable, we had no 
occafion to take Notice of in our Theory of 
the Chaos) and fuppofe the Figure of the 
Earth O'valy and a little extended towards the 
Poles, (as probably it was, feeing the Vortex 
that contains it is fo) thofe two Bodies do 
very naturally reprefent one another, as in this 
Scheme, which reprefents the Interiour Faces 
of both, .<L divided £?5, or Earth. Where, 

3iT^A. t. 


%% the two inmofi Regions (A, B) reprefent 
the Yolk and the Membrane that lies next a- 
bove iti fo the Exteriour Region of the Earth 
(D) is as the Shell of t;he Egg, and the A- 
byfs (C) under it as the White that lies under 
the Shell. And confidering that this Notion 
of the Mundane Egg:, or that the World was 
G 4 G^ifoYniy 

8 S The Theory of the Earth. 

O'viform^ hath been the Senfe and Language 
of all Antiquity, Latins^ Greeh^ Ferfians^ 
jEgyptiam^ and others, as we have fhew'delfe- 
where, [TO/. Thecr. Sac. lib. i.e. io.]I thought 
it worthy our Notice in this Place; feeing it 
receives fuch a clear and eafy Explication froni 
that Origin and Fabrick we have given to the 
firft Earth, and alio reflects Light upon the 
Theory it felf, and confirms it to be no Fic- 
tion : This Notion,which is a kind of Epitome 
or Image of it, having beep conferv'd in the 
moft Ancient Learning, 

Thus much concerning the firft Earth, its 
Produdion and Form ; and concerning our fe- 
cond Propo/ition relating to it : Which being 
provxJrby Reafon, the Laws of Nature, an4 
the Motions of the Chaos; then attefted by 
Antiquity, both as to the Matter and Forn> 
of it ; and confirm'd by Sacred Writers, we 
may take it now for a well eftabliflit Truth, 
and proceed upon this Suppofition, That the 
Antediliman Earth was S?nooth and Uniformy 
without Mount aim or Sea^ to the Explication 
of the univerfal Deluge. 

Give me leave only before we proceed any 
further, to annex here a fhort Advertifement, 
concerning the Caufesof this woi^derful Struc- 
ture of the firfi Earth. 'Tis true, we have pro- 
pos'd the natural Caufes of it, and I do not 
know wherein our Explication is falfe or de- 
fective ^ but in things of this kind we may 
eafily be too credulous. And this Strudure is 
ib marvellous, that it ought rather to be con- 
/ider'd as a particular Effed of the Divine Arc 
'^^' "^ ' " ^ • ' ' ' than 

The Deluge and Diffolution of the Earth. 89 
than as the Work of Nature. The whole Globe 
of the Water vaulted over, and the Exterior 
Earth hanging above the Deep, fuftain'd by 
nothing but its own Meafures and Manner of 
Gonftrudion : A Building without Foundation 
or Corner-flone. This feenis to be a piece of 
Divine Geometry or Architedure ,• and to 
this, I think, is to be refer'd that magnificent 
Challenge which God Almighty made to Job^ 
^ob 38. 4, 5, 6,7, &c. Where wafi thou when 
1 laid the Foundations of the Earth ? Declare if 
thou haft Underftanding. Who hath laid the Mea- 
fures thereof^ if thou knoweft ? Or who hath 
ftretched the Line upon it ? Whereupon are the 
Foundations thereof fa fined ? Or who laid the 
Corner-ftone thereof? When the Morning Stars 
fang together^ and all the Sons of God fhouted 
for Joy. Mofes alfo, when he had defcrib'd the 
Chaos, faith. The Spirit of God jnoifdupon^ or 
fat brooding upon, the Face of the Waters ; 
without all doubt to produce fome EflTefts 
there. And St.Feter^ when he fpeaksof the 
Form of the Antediluvian Earth, how it 
ftood in reference to the Waters, adds, By 
the Word of God^ T$ Aoy^jj t8 068, or by the 1 
Wifdom of God it was made fo. And this 
fame Wifdom of God, in the Pro^verbs^ as we 
obferved before, takes Notice of this very 
piece of Work in the Formation of the Earth. 
When he fet an Orb ever the Face of the Deep 
1 zvas there. And laftly, the Ancient Philofo- 
phers, or at leaft the beft of them, to give 
them their due, always brought in Mens or 
^mcr^ Aoyog^^Epctigj as a Supernatural Princi- 

5K? The Theory of the E a r t ni 

pie to unite and confociate the parts of the 
Chaos ; which was firft done in the Compofi- 
tion of this wonderful Arch of the Earth, 
Wherefore to the great Arx:hite<a:5 who made 
the boundlefs Univerfe out of nothing, and 
form'd the Eirth out of a Chaos, let the 
Praife of the whole Work, and particularly 
of this Mafter-piece, for ever with all Honour 
be given. 

Chap. VL 

The Diffolution of the firjl Earth : The Deluge 
enfuing thereupon. And the Form of the fre^ 
fent Earth rifing from the Ruim of the Firjl. 

WE have now brought to light the Ante- 
diluvian Earth out of the dark Mafs 
of the Chaos i and not only defcri- 
bed the Surface of it, \See Fig. 5, & 6. pag. 78. 
(^ 87.] but laid open the inward parts, to ftiew 
in what Order its Regions lay. Let us now 
clofe it up, and reprefent the Earth entire, and 
in larger Proportions, more like an habitable 
World ; as in this Figure, where you fee the 
fmooth Convex of the Earth, and may ima- 
gine the great Abyfs fpread under it j As at the 
aperture a a. which two are to be the only 
Subjed of our further Contemplation. 

In this fmooth Earth were the firft Scenes of 
the World, and the firft Generations of Man- 
kind j it had the Beauty of Youth and bloom- 
ing Nature, frefh and fruitful,- and not a 
Wrinkle, Scar or Fradure in all its Body ; no 




The Deluge a?id DiJJolution of the Earth. 9 1' 
p.ocks nor Mountains, no hollow Caves, nor 
gaping Channels, but even and uniform all 
over. And the Smoothnefs of the Earth made 
the Face of the Heavens fo too ; the Air was 
Calm and Serene ; none of thofe tumultuary 
Motions and Conflid:s of Vapours, which 
the Mountains and the Winds caufe in ours ; 
'Twas fuited to a golden Age, and to the firft 
Innocency of Nature. 

All this you'll fay is well, we are got into 
a pleafant World indeed, but what's this to 
the Purpofe? what Appearance of a Deluge 
here, where there is not fo much as a Sea, 
nor half fo much Water as we have in this 
JEarth ? or what Appearance of Mountains, or 
Caverns, or other Irregularities of the Earth, 
where all is level and united : So that inftead 
of loofing the Knot, this ties it the harder. 
You pretend to fliew us how the Deluge was 
made, and you lock up all the Waters within 
the Womb of the Earth, and fet Bars and 
Poors, and a Wall of impenetrable Strength 
and Thiicknefs to keep them there. And you 
pretend to fhew us the Original of Rocks and 
Mountains, and Caverns of the Earth, and 
bring us to a wide and endlefs Plain, fmooth 
as the calm Sea. 

This is all true, and yet we are not fo far 
from the Sight and Difcovery of thofe things 
as you imagine , draw but the Curtain, and 
thefe Scenes will appear^or fomcthing very like 
'em. We muft remember that St. Pnertold us, 
that the Antediluvian Earth perifh'd, or was 
(demolifh'd j and Mofes faith, the great Abyfs 


$1 The Theory of the E a r t h. 

was broken open" at the Deluge. Let us theti 
fuppofe, that at a time appointed by Divine 
Providence, and from Caufes made ready to 
do that great Execution upon a finful World, 
that this Jbyfs was open d, or that the Frame 
of the Earth broke and fell down into the 
great Abyfi. At this one ftroke all Nature 
would be changed, and this fingle Adion 
would have two great and vifible Effeds, 
The one Tranfient, and the other Permanent. 
Firft, an Univerfal Deluge would overflow all 
the Parts and Regions of the broken Earth, 
during the great Commotion and Agitation of 
the Abyfs, by the violent Fall of the Earth 
into it. This would be the firft and unquef- 
tionable Effcd of this DifTolution, and all that 
World would be deftroy'd. Then when the 
Agitation of the Abyfs was aflwag'd, and the 
Waters by degrees were retir'd into their Chan- 
nels, and the dry Land appeared, you would 
fee the true Image of the prefent Earth in the 
Ruins of the firft. The Surface of the Globe 
would be divided into Land and Sea,- the 
Land would confift of Plains and Valleys and 
Mountains, according as the Pieces of this 
Ruin were plac'd and difpos'd ; Upon the 
Banks of the Sea would ftand the Rocks, and 
near the Shore would be Iflands, or lefTer 
Fragments of Earth compafs'd round by Wa- 
ter. Then as to Subterraneous Waters, and 
all Subterraneous Caverns and HollownefTeSj 
upon this Suppofition thofe things could not 
be otheiwife; for the Parts would fall hollow 
in many Places in thisj as in all other Ruins t 


The Deluge and Dijfotution of the Earth. ^5 
And feeing the Earth fell into this Abyfs, the 
Waters at a certain height would flow into all 
thofe hollow Places and Cavities^ and would 
alfo fink and infinuate into many Parts of the 
folid Earth. And though thefe Subterrane- 
ous Vaults or Holes, whether dry or full of 
Water, would be more or lefs in all Places, 
where the Parts fell hollow ; yetthey would be 
found efpecially about the Roots of the Moun- 
tains, and the higher Parts of the Earthy for 
there the fides bearing up oneagainft the other, 
they could not lie fo clofe at the bottoms, but 
many Vacuities would be intercepted. Nor 
are there any other Inequalities or Irregulari- 
ties obfervable in the prefent Form of the 
Earth ,• whether in the Surface of it, or inte- 
riour Conftruftion , whereof this Hypothefis 
doth give a ready, fair, and intelligible 
Account ; and doth at one view reprefent 
them all to us, with their Caufes, as in a 
Glafs : And whether that Glafs be true, and 
the Image anfwer to the Original, if you doubt 
of it, we will hereafter examine them Piece 
by Piece. But in the firft Place, we muft 
confider the general Deluge, how eafily and 
truly this Suppofition reprefents and explains 
it, and anfwers all the Properties and Condi- 
tions of it. 

I think it will be eafily allow'd, that fuch 
a Diflblution of the Earth as we have proposed, 
and Fall of it into the Abyfs, would certainly 
make an Univerfal Deluge ,• and effectually 
deftroy the old World, which perifli'd in it. 
But we have not yet particularly prov'd this 


^4 The Theory of the E a r t rt. 

Diflblution, and in what manner the Deluge 
foUow'd upon it ; And to aflert things in grofs 
never makes that firm Impreflion upon our 
Underftandings, and upon our Belief, as to 
fee them deduc'd with their Caufes and Cir- 
cumftances; and therefore we muft endea- 
vour to Ihew what Preparations there were 
in Nature for this great Difiblution, and after 
what manner it came to pafs, and the Deluge 
in confequence of it. 

We have noted before^ that Vlofes imputed 
the Deluge to the Difruption of the Abyfs j 
and St. Veter^ to the particular Conftitution 
of that Earth, which made it obnoxious to be 
abforpt in Water, fo that our Explication fo 
far is juftified.But it was below the Dignity of 
thofe Sacred Pen-men, or the Spirit of God 
that direded them, to Ihew us the Caufes of 
this Difruption, or of this Abforption ^ this 
is left to the Enquiries of Men. For it was 
never the Defign of Providence, to give fuch 
particular Explications of natural Things, as 
mould make us idle, or the Ufe of Reafon 
iinnecefTary ; but on the contrary, by delive- 
ring great Conclufiohs to us, to excite our 
Curioiity and Inquifitivenefs after the Me- 
thods, by which fuch things were brought to 
pafs : And it may be there is no greater Trial 
or Inftance of natural Wifdom, than to find 
out the Channel, in which thefe great Revo- 
lutions of Nature, which we treat on, flow 
and fucceed one another. 

Let us therefore refume that Syftem of the 
Antediluvian Earth, which we have deduc'd 


The Deluge ajid Dijfolution of the Earth. s5 
from the Chaos, and which we find to an- 
fwer St. Peters Defcription, and Mofes's Ac- 
count of the Deluge. This Earth could 
not be obnoxious to a Deluge, as the Apoftle 
fuppofeth it to have been, but by a Diflblu- 
tion y for the Abyfs was enclos'd within its 
Bowelsa And Mofes doth in effedl tell us, 
there was fuch a Diflblution , when he foith. 
The Fountains of the great Abyfs were broken 
of en. For Fountains are broken open no other- 
wife than by breaking up the Ground that co- 
vers them. We muft therefore here enquire 
in what Order, and from what Caufes the 
Frame of this exterior Earth was difTolv'd, and 
then we fliall foon fee how, upon that Diflb- 
lution, the Deluge immediately prevaifd and 
overflowed all the Parts of it. 

I do not think it in the power of humane 
Wit to determine how long this Frame would 
ftand, how many Years, or how many Ages ; 
but one would foon imagine, that this kind of 
Structure would not be perpetual, nor laft in- 
deed many thoufands of Years, if one conli- 
der the Effed that the Heat of the Sun would 
have upon it and the Waters under it j drying 
and parching the one, and rarefying the other 
into Vapours. For we muft conlider, that the 
Courfe of the Sun at that time, or the Pofture 
of the Earth to the Sun, was fuch, that there 
was no Diverfity or Alternation of Sealons 
in the Year, as there is nows by reafon of 
which Alternation, our Earth is kept in an 
.Equality of Temper, the contrary Seafons 
balanciag one another ^ lo as what Moifture 


p6 The Theory of the Earth; 
the Heat of the Summer fucks out of the 
Earth, 'tis repaid in the Rains of the next 
Winter i and what Chaps were made in it, are 
fiird up again, and the Earth reduc'd to its 
former Cdnftitution. But if we fhould ima- 
gine a continual Summer^ the Earth would 
proceed in Drinefs ftill more and more, and 
the Cracks would be wider and pierce deeper 
into the Subftance of it ; And fuch a continual 
Summer there was, at leafl: ah Equality of 
Seafons in the Antediluvian Earth, as fhall 
be prov'd in the following Book, concerning 
Paradife, In the mean time,this being fuppos'd, 
let us confider what EfFe<S it would have updrt 
this Arch of the exterior Earth, arid the Wa« 
ters under it. 

We cannot believe, but that the Heat 
of the Sun, within the Space of fome hun- 
dreds of Years, would have reduc'd this Earth 
to a copfiderable degree of Drinefs in certain 
Parts ; and alfo have much rarefied and exhal'd 
the Waters beneath it : And confidering the 
Strufture of that Globe, the exterior Cruftj 
and the Waters lying round under it, both 
expos'd to the Sun, we may fitly compare it 
to an jEolipile^ or an hollow Sphere with Wa^ 
ter in it, which the Heat of the Fire rarefies 
and turns into Vapours and Wind. The Sun 
here is as the Fire, and the exterior Earth is as 
the Shell of the Molifde^ and the Abyfs as the 
Water within it 3 now when the Heat of the 
Sun had pierced through the Shell and reach'd 
the Waters, it began to rarefy them, and raife 
them into Vapours; which Rarefaction made 


The Ddn^e and T)iffchitic?i of the 'Earth. 97 
them require more Space and Room than they 
needed before, while they lay clofe and quiet. 
And finding tbemielves pent in by the exte- 
rior Earth, they prefs'd with Violence againft 
that Arch, to make it yield and give way to 
their Dilatation and Eruption. So we fee all 
Vapours aiid Exhalations inclos'd within the 
Earth, and agitated there, flrive to break out, 
and often fliake the Ground with their At- 
tempts to get loofe. And in the Comparifon 
we us'd of an jEolipile^ if the Mouth of it 
be flopt that gives the Vent, the Water 
rarefied will buift the Veffel wath its Force. 
And the Refemblance of the Earth to an Egg, 
which we us'd before, holds alio in this re- 
fped: j for w^hen it heats before the Fire, the 
Moifture and Air within being rarefied, makes 
it often burft the Shell. And I do the more 
willingly mention this lad: Comparifon, be- 
caufe I obfervethatfomeof the Ancients, when 
they fpeak of the Dodrine of the Mrmdajie 
Egg^ fay, that alter a certain Period of Time it 
was broken. 

But there is yet another Thing to be confi- 
dered in this Cafe,- for as the Heat of the Sun 
gave Force to tliefe Vapours more and more, 
and made them n-iore ftrong and violent j fo 
on the other hand, it alfo weaken'd niore and 
more the Arch of the Earth, that was to re- 
fift them i fucking out the Moifture that was 
the Cement ot its parts, drying it immode- 
rately, and chapping it in fandry Places. And 
there being no Winter then to clofe up aiid 
unite its Parts^ and reftore the Earth to its 

Book I. H tormer 

98 The Theory of the Earth. 
former Strength and Compadnefs, it grew more 
and more difpos'd to aDilTolution. And at length, 
thefe Preparations in Nature being made on 
either fide, the Force of the Vapours increas'd, 
and the Walls weakened which Jliould have 
kept them in, when the appointed time was 
come, that All-wife Providence had de- 
fign'd for the Puniihment of a finful World, 
the wliole Fabrick brake, and the Frame of 
the Earth was torn in Pieces, as by an Earth- 
quake ^ and thofe great Portions or Fragments, 
into which it was divided, fell down into the 
Abyfs, fome in one Pofture, and fome in ano- 

This is a fhort and general Account how we 
may conceive theDiffolution of the firft Earth, 
and an Univerfal Deluge arifing upon it. And 
this manner of DilTolution hath fo many Ex- 
amples in Nature every Age, that we need not 
infill: farther upon the Explication of it. The 
generality ofEarthquakesarife from like Caufes, 
and often end in a like Effcd:, a partial De- 
luge, or Inundation of the Place or Country 
where they happen ; and of thefe we have feen 
fome Inftances even in our own Times : But 
whenfoever it fo happens that the Vapours and 
Exhalations lliut up in the Caverns of the 
Earth, by Rarefiftion or Compreffion come to 
be ftraitned, they ftrive every way to fet them- 
felves at Liberty, and often break their Prifon, 
or the Cover of the Earth that kept them in ; 
which Earth upon that Difruption falls into 
the Subterraneous Caverns that lie under it : 
And it^ it fo happens that thofe Caverns are 


The Deluge and Bijfolntion of the Earth 99 
full of Water, as generally they are, if they 
be great or deep, that City or Traft of Land 
is drown'd. And alfo the Fall of fuch a Mafs 
of Earth, with its Weight and Bulk, doth 
often force out the Water fo impetuoufly, as 
to throw it upon all the Country roundabout. 
There are innumerable Examples in Hiflory 
(whereof we Ihall mention iome hereafter) of 
Cities and Countries thus fwallow'd up, or 
overflowed, by an Earthquake, and an Inun- 
dation ariiing upon it. And according to the 
manner of their Fall or Ruin, they either re- 
main'd wholly under Water, and perpetually 
drown'd, as Sodom and Gomcrrah^ Plato's At^ 
lajitis^ Bura and Hdice^ and other -Cities and 
Regions in Greece and /fia j or they partly e- 
merg'd, and became dry Land again ,• when 
(their Situation being pretty high) the Waters, 
after their violent Agitation was abated, re- 
tired into the lower Places, and into their 

Now if we compare thefe partial DifTolu- 
tions of the Earth with an univerfil DifTolu- 
tion, we may as eafily conceive an univerfal 
Deluge from an univerfal Diifolution, as a. 
partial Deluge from a partial. If we can co4i- 
ceive a City, a Country, an Illand, a Con- 
tinent thus abforpt and overflown j if we do 
but enlarge our Thought and Imagination a 
little, we may conceive it as well of the whole 
Earth. And it feems ftrange to me, that none 
of the Ancients fliould hit upon this way of 
explaining the Univerfal Deluge ^ there being 
fuch frequent Inftances in all Ages and Coun- 

H 2 tries 

1 oo The Theory of the E a r t h.' 
tries of Inundations made in this manner, and 
never of any great Inundation made otherwife, 
iinlefs in maritime Countries, by the Irrup- 
tion of the Sea into Grounds that lie low. 'Tis 
true, they would not fo eafily imagine this 
Diflolution, becaufe they did not underftand 
the true Form of the Antediluvian Earth j but 
rethinks, the Examination of the Deluge 
fliould have led them to the Difcovery of 
that: For obferving the Difficulty, or Impof- 
fibility of an Univerllil Deluge, without the 
Diflolution of the Earth ; as alfo frequent In- 
ftances of thefe Diilbiutions accompanied with 
Deluges, where the Ground was hollow, and 
had Subterraneous Waters j this, methinks, 
Ihould have prompted them to imagine, that 
thofe Subterraneous Waters were Univerfal at 
that time, or extended quite round the Earth j 
fo as a Diflolution of theexteriour Earth could 
not be made any where but it would fall into 
Waters, and be more or lefs overflow'd. And 
when they had once reacht this Thought, they 
Height conclude both what the Form of the 
Antediluvian Earth was, and that the Deluge 
came to pafs by the Diifolution of it. But we 
reafon with eafe about the finding out of things, 
when they are once found out ,• and there is 
but a thin Paper-wall fometimes between the 
great Difcoveries and a perfed Ignorance of 
them. Let us proceed now to confider, whether 
this Suppofltion willanfwer all the Conditions 
of an Univerfal Deluge, and fupply all the 
Defers which we found in other Explications, 


The Deluge and Diffolution of the Earth, loi 
The great difficulty propos'd, was to find 
Water fufficient to make an UniverHil Deluge, 
reaching to the tops of the Mountains,- and 
yet that this Water Ihould be tran/ient, and 
after fome time fliould lo return into its Chan- 
nels, that the dry Land would appear, and 
the Earth become again habitable. There was 
that double Impoflibility in the common Opi- 
nion, that the Quantity of Water neceffary for 
fuch a Deluge was no where to be found, or 
could no way be brouglit upon the Earth j and 
then if it was brought, could no way be re- 
mov'd again. Our Explication quite takes off 
the edge of this Objedion ,• for, performing 
the fame Effedwith a farlcfs Qiiantity of Wa- 
ter, 'tis both eafy to be found, and ealily re- 
moved when the Work is done. When the 
exteriour Earth was broke, and fell into the 
Abyfs, a good part of it was covcrd with 
Water by the meer depth of the Abyfs it fell 
into, and thole Parts of it that were higher 
than the Abyfs was deep, and confeqaently 
would ftand above it in a calm Water, were 
notwithftanding reach'd and overtop'd by the 
Waves, during the Agitation and violent Com- 
motion of the Abyfs. For it is not imagi- 
nable what the Commotion of the Abyfs 
would be upon this Diflblution of the Earthy 
nor to what height its Waves would be 
thrown , when thofe prodigious Fragments 
were tumbled down into it, Suppofe a Stone 
of ten thoufmd Weight taken up into the 
Air a Mile or two, and then let fall into the 
middle of tJieOceaJlj \ do not believe but that 

H 3 thp 

102 The Theory of the Earth. 
the dadiing of the Water upon that Imnreflion 
would rife as high as a Mountain. But luppofe 
a mighty Rock or heap of Rocks to fail from 
that height, or a great Ifland, or a Continent; 
thefe wouldexpel the Watersoutof their Places 
with fuch a Force and Violence^as to fling them 
among the higheft Clouds^ 

'Tis incredible to what height fometimes 
great Stones and Cinders will be thrown, at the 
Eruptions of fiery Mountains; and the Preflure 
of a great Mafs of Earth falling into the Abyfs, 
though it be a Force of another kind, could not 
but impel the Water with fo much ftrength, as 
would carry it up to a great height in the Air; 
and to the top of any thing that lay in its way, 
any Eminency, high Fragment, or new Moun- 
tain: And then rolling back again, it would 
fweep down with it whatfoeyer it ruftit upon^ 
Woods, Buildings, living Creatures, and car- 
ry them all headlong into the great Gulph. 
Sometimes a Mafs of Water would be quite 
(truck off and feparate from the reft, and toft 
through the Air like a flying River ; but the 
f[:omnion Motion of the Waves was to climb 
up the Hills or inclined Fragments; and then 
return into the Valleys and Deeps again, with 
a perpetual Flu(51:uation going and coming, af- 
cending and defcending, till the violence of 
them being fpent by degrees, they fettled at 
Jaft in the Places allotted for them ; where 
Bounds are fet that they cannot pafs o'ver^ that 
fhey return not again to cover the Earth. Pfak 


The Deluge aiid Diffoluticn of the Enrth. loj 
Neither is it to be wonder'd, that the great 
Tumult of the Waters, and the Extremity of 
the Deluge lafted for fome Months j for be- 
fides, that the firft Shock and Commotion of 
the Abyfs was extremely violent, from the 
general Fall of the Earth, there were ever and 
anon fome fecondary Ruins ^ or fome Parts of 
the great Ruin, that were not well fettled, 
broke again, and made new Comm.otions : 
And 'twas a confiderable Time before the 
great Fragments that fell, and their lefler De- 
pendencies could be {^o adjufted and fitted, as 
to reft in a firm and immoveable Pofture: For 
the Props and Stays whereby they lean'd one 
upon another, or upon the Bottom of the 
Abyfs, often fiul'd, either by the incumbent 
Weight or the violent Impulfes of the Water 
againft them; and fo renewed, or continued 
the Diforder and Confulion of the Abyfs. Be- 
lides, we are to obferve, that thefe great 
Fragments falling hollow, they inclos'd and 
bore down with them under their concave 
Surface a great deal of Air^ and while the 
Water compafs'd thefe Fragments, and over- 
flowed them, the Air could not readily get out 
of thofe Prifons, but by degrees, as the Earth 
and Water above would give way ; fo as this 
would alfo hinder the Settlement of the Abyfs, 
and the retiring of the Water into thofe Sub- 
terraneous Channels, for fome Time. But at 
length, when this Air had found a vent, and 
left its place to the Water, and the Ruins both 
primary and fecondary were fettled and fix'd, 
then the Waters of the Abyfs began to fettle 

H 4 too. 

1C4 The Theory of the E a r t h. 
too, and the dry Land to appear; firft the tops 
of the Mountains, then the high Grounds^ 
then the Plains and the refi of the Earth. And 
this gradual Sublidency of the Abyfs (which 
T^ofes alfo hath particularly noted) and Difco- 
yery of the feveral Parts of the Earth, would 
alfo take up a confiderable Time, 

Thus a new World appear'd, or the Earth 
put on its new Form, and became divided into 
Sea and Land,* and the Abyfs, which from fe- 
veral Ages, even from the beginning of the 
eWorld, had lain hid in the Womb of the 
Earth, was brought to light and difcover'd; 
the greateft part of it conftituting our prefent 
Ocean, and the reft filling the lower Cavities 
pf the Earth : Upon the Land appear'd the 
Mountains and the Hills, and the lilands in the 
Sea, and the Rocks upon the Shore. And fo 
the Divine Providence, having prepared Na- 
ture for fo great a Change, at oneftroke dif- 
folv'd the Frame of the old World, and made 
us a new one out of its Puiins, vv' hich we now 
inhabit fince the Deluge. All which Things 
being thus explained, deduc'd, and ftated, we 
now add and pronounce our Third and laft 
Propofition j That the Difniption of the Abyfy^ 
or Diffolution of thep-'imd'val Earthy and its Fall 
into the Abyfs^ was the Caufe of the U?jh rfal 
peluge^ a?id of the Dejlnictiun of the old World, 

P H A P| 

The Deluge and Viffolution of the Earth. 105 
Chap. VII. 

That the Explication we haue gi'ven of an Uni- 
"verfal Dclin^e is not an Idea only^ but an Ac- 
count of what really came topafs in this Earthy 
and the true Explication of NoahV Flood ; as 
is pro'vd by Argument and from Hiflory. An 
Examination of Tehom-Rabba, or the great 
Abyfs^ and that by it the Sea cannot be under- 
flood:, ^^^' '^^'^ Subterraneous If^'aterf^ 06 they 
are at prefent. JVhat the true Notion and 
Form oj it was^ collected from Mofes and o- 
ther Sacred Writers-, The frequent Allufions 
in Scripture to the opening ayid Jhutting the 
Abyf:, and the particular Stile of Scripture in 
its Reflections on the Origin. And the Forma- 
tion of the Earth. Obferqjations on Deuca- 
lion'i" Deluge. 

WE have now given an Account of 
the firft great Revolution of Nature, 
and of the Univerfal Deluge, in a 
way that is intelligible, and from Caufes that 
anfwer the Greatnefs of the Effed; We have 
fuppos'd nothing but what is alfo prov'd, both 
as to the firft Form of the Earth, and as to 
the manner of its Diflblution: and how far 
from that would evidently and necefl-irily a- 
rife a general Deluge ; which was that, which 
put a Period to the old World, and the firft 
ftate of Things. And tho' all this hath been 
fdeduc'd in due Order, and with Connexion 
md Confequence of one thing upon another, 


1 o6 The Theory of the E a r t h. 

fo far as I know, which is the true Evidence 
of a Theory , yet it may not be fufficient to 
command the AfTent and Belief of fome Per- 
fons, who will allow, it may be, and acknow- 
ledge, that this is a fair Idea of a poffible De- 
luge in general, and of the Deflruftion of a 
"World by it , but this may be only an Idea^ 
they'll fay ^ we defire it may be prov'd from 
fome collateral Arguments, taken either from 
Sacred Hiftory, or from Oi3fervation, that this 
hath really been exemplified upon the Earth, 
and that Noah's Flood came to pafs this way. 
And feeing we have defign'd this firfl: Book 
chiefly for the Explication of Noah's Deluge, 
I am willing to add here a Chapter or two ex- 
traordinary upon this occafion j to lliew, that 
what we have delivered is more than an Idea^ 
and that it was in this very way that NoaFs 
Deluge came to pafs. But they who have 
not this Doubt, and have a Mind to fee the 
Iffue of the Theory, may skipthefe two Chap- 
ters, if they pleafe, and proceed to the fol- 
lowing, where the Order is continued. 

To fatisfy then the Doubtful in this Parti- 
cular, let us lay down in the firfl place that 
Conclufion which they feem to admit, 'viz. 
That this is a poffible and confiflent Explica- 
tion of an Univerfal Deluge ; and let's fee how 
far this would go, if well confider'd, towards 
the Proof of what they defire, or towards the 
Demonflration of Noah's Deluge in particular. 
It is granted on both Hands, that there hath 
been an Univerfal Deluge upon the Earth, 
which was Noah's Deluge ^ and it is aifo grant-. 


The Deluge and Diffolution of the Eay-th. 107 
ed, that we have given a poffible and confif- 
tent Idea of an Univerfal Deluge : Now we 
have provM Chap. IL and ///. that all other 
ways hitherto affign'd for the Explication of 
iVb^^'s Flood are incongruous or impolfible; 
therefore it came to pafs in that poifible and 
competent way which we have propo:3'd. And 
if we have truly prov'd, in the fore mentioned 
Chapters, the Impoffibility or Unintelligibili- 
ty of it in all other ways, this Argumentation 
is undeniable. Befides, we may argue thus, 
as it is granted that there hath been an Uni- 
verfal Deluge upon the Earth ,• fo 1 fuppofe it 
will be granted that there hath been but one: 
Now the DifTolution of the Earth, whenloever 
it happen'd, would make one Univerfol De- 
luge, and therefore the only one, and the 
fame with Noah's. That fuch a Diflblution as 
we have defcrib'd, would make an Univerfal 
Peluge, I think, cannot be queftion'd ; and 
that there hath been fuch a DifTolution, be- 
sides what we have already alledg'd, Ihall be 
prov'd at large from natural Obfervations upon 
the Form and Figure of the prefent Earth, in 
the T^/V^ Section and laft Chapter of this Book ; 
In the mean time we will proceed to Hiftory, 
both Sacred and Profane, and by comparing 
our Explication with thofe, give further Af— 
furance of its Truth and Reality. 

In the firft Place, it agrees, which is mofl 
confiderable, with Mofey's Narration of the 
Peluge i both as to the Matter and Manner of 
it. The Matter of the Deluge Mofes makes 
pp be the Waters from aboye^ and t!ie Wa- 

% o8 7 he Theory of the E a r t h. 
ters from below ; or he diftinguiflies the 
Caufes of the Deluge, as we do, into Supe- 
rior and Inferior, Gen. 7. ii. and the Inferior 
Caufes he makes to be the Difruption of the 
Abyfs, which is the principal part, and the 
great Hinge of our Explication. Then as to 
the Manner of the Deluge, the Beginning and 
the Ending, the Increafe and Decreafejhe faith, 
'ver. 17, 18, 19, 20. caf, 8. 3, 5. it increas'd 
gradually, and decreas'd gradually, by go- 
ing and co?nmgi that is, after many repeated 
Fluftuations and Reciprocations of the Waves, 
the Waters of the Abyfs began to be more 
composed, and to retire into their Channels, 
whence they fliall never return to cover the 
Earth again. This agrees wholly with our 
Theory j we fuppofe the Abyfs to have been 
under an extream Commotion and Agitation 
by the Fall of the Earth into it, and this at 
firft encreas'd more and more, till the whole 
Earth was fain, then continuing for fome time 
at the height of its Rage, overwhelming the 
greateft Mountains, it afterwards decreas'd by 
the like degrees, leaving firft the tops of the 
Mountains, then the Hills and the Fields, ti4 
the Waters came to be wholly drawn off the 
Earth into their Channels. 

It was no doubt a great Overfight in the An- 
cients, to fancy the Deluge like a great {land- 
ing Pool of Water, reaching from the bottom 
of the Valleys to the tops of the Mountains, 
every where alike, with a level and uniform 
Surface i by reafon of which miflaken Notion 
of the Deluge, they made more Water necet 

The Deluge and Diffoltition of the Earth. 109 
fary to it than was pofTible to be had^ or being 
had, than it was poflible to get quit of again ; 
for there are no Channels in the Earth that 
could hold fo much Water, either to give it, 
or to receive it. And the Ffalmift^ \yid. St. 
Auftin in loc,'] fpeaking of the Deluge, as it 
feems to me, notes this violent Commotion of 
the Abyfs, Pfal. 104. verfes 8, 9. The Waters 
went up by the Mou?itam^ came down by the 
Valleys unto the Place which thou haji founded 
for them, I know fome interpret thatPafllige 
of the State of the Waters in the beginning, 
when they covcr'd the Face of the whole 
Earth, Gen, 1.2, but that cannot be, becaufe 
of what follows in the next Verfe ,• Thou haft 
fet a Bound that they may not pafs o'ver,, that 
they turn not again to co'vcr the Earth. Which 
is not true, if the preceeding Word$ be un- 
derftood of the State of 'the Waters at the be- 
ginning of the World ; for they did pafsthofe 
Bounds, and did return fince that time to co- 
ver the Earthy namely at the Deluge : But if 
thefe Words be refer'd to the time of the De- 
luge, and the ftate of the Waters then, 'tis 
both a jufl: Defcription of the Motion of the 
Abyfs, and certainly true, that the Waters 
fince that time are fo fettled in their Channels, 
that they fliall never overflow the Earth again. 
As we are affured by the Promife made to Noah^ 
and that illuftrious Pledge and Confirmation 
of it, the Rai?jboWj that the Heavens alfo fhall 
never pour out fo much Waters again; their 
State being chang'd as well as that of the 


1 lo The Theory of the E a r t nl 

Earth, or Sea^ from what they were before* 

the Deluge. 

But before we leave Mofes's Narration of' 
the Deluge, we mufl: examine further, what 
is, or can be underftood by his Tehom- 
Rabba, or great Ahyfsj which, he faith, was 
broken up at the Deluge, Gen. 7. ii. for 
this will help us to difcover, whether our 
Explication be the fime with his, and of the 
fame Flood. And firft we muft confider, whe- 
ther by the Tehom-Rahba^ or Mofaical Abyfs, 
can be underftood the Sea or Ocean, under that 
Form we fee it in at prefent j and 'tis plain, 
methinks, that the Sea cannot be underftood 
by this great Abyfs, both becaufe the Sea is 
not capable upon any Difruption to make fuch 
an Univerfal Deluge j and becaufe the Narra- 
tion of Mofes^ and his ExprefTions concerning 
this Abyfs, do not agree to the Sea. Some 
of the Ancients indeed did imagine, that the 
Waters of the Sea were much higher than the 
Land, and ftood, as it were, on an heap,* fo 
as when thefe Waters were let loofe, they 
overfiovv'd the Earth, and made a Deluge. 
But this is known to be a grofs Miftake ; the 
Sea and the Land make one Globe, and the 
Waters couch themfelves, as clofe as may be, 
to the Center of this Globe in a Spherical 
Convexity j fo that if all the Mountains and 
Hills were fcaTd, and the Earth made even, 
the Waters would not overflow its fmooth 
Surface j much lefs could they overflow it in 
the Form that it is now , where the Shores 
are higher than the Sea, the Inland Parts than 


The Deluge and Dijfolution of the Earth. 1 1 1 
the Shores, and the Mountains ftill far above all : 
So as no Difruption of the Sea could make an 
Univerfal Deluge, by reafon of its Situation. 
But be/ides that, the Qiiantity of Water con- 
tain'd in the Sea is no way fufficient to make a 
Deluge in the prefent Form of the Earth j for 
we have flievvn before. Chap. 2. that eight 
fuch Oceans as ours would be little enough 
for that Rirpofe. Then as to the ExprefTions of 
Mofes concerning this Abyfs, if he had meant 
the Sea by it^and that the Deluge was made by 
the Difruption of the Sea, why d id he not fay fo ? 
There is no mention of the Sea in all the Hifto- 
ry of the Deluge: Mofey had mention'd the 
Sea before, Gen. i . i o. and us'd a Word that 
was common^ and known to fignify the Sea ; 
and if he had a Mind to exprefs the fame 
thing here, why Ihould he not ufe the fame 
Word and the fame Term ? In an Hiftorical 
Relation we ufe Terms that are moft proper 
and beft known ; but inftead of that he ufeth 
the fmie Term here that he did, Gtn, i. 2. 
when he faith, Darknefs was upon the Face of 
the Abyfs^ or of the Deepj as we render it; 
there the Abyfs was open, or covered with 
Darknefs only, namely before the exterior 
Earth was form'd ; Here the fame Abyfs is 
mention'd again, but cover'd, by the Forma- 
tion of the Earth upon it j and the covering 
of this Abyfs was broken or cl.n)en afundery 
and the Waters gufht out that made the De- 
luge. This I am fure is the mod natural In- 
terpretation or Signification of this Word, ac- 
cording diS it is us'd in Mojes\ Writings. Fur- 

\ii The Theory of the E a r t h: 
therinore, we nuift obferve what Mofes Hiitll 
concerning this Abyfs, and whether that will 
agree with the Sea or no ,• he faith the Fo7m-' 
tains of the great Ahyfs were broken open , now 
if by the great Abyfs you underftand the Sea, 
how are its Fountains broken open ? To break 
open a Fountain, is to break open the Ground 
that covers it, and what Ground covers the 
Sea ? So that upon all Confiderations, either 
of the Word that Mofes here ufeth, Tehovi- 
'Rahba^ or of the thing affirmed concerning ity 
breaking of en its Fountains; or of the Effed 
following the breaking open its Fountains^ 
drow?iing of the Earth • from all thefe Heads 
it is manifeft, that the Sea cannot be underftood 
ty the great Abyfi^ whofe Difruption was the 
Caufe of the Deluge. 

And as the Mofaical Abyfs cannot be the 
Sea, fo neither can it be thofe Subterraneous 
Waters that are difpers'd in the Cells and Ca- 
verns of the Earth; for as they are now lodg'd 
within the Earth, they are not one Jbyf\ but 
feveral Cifterns and Receptacles of Water in 
feveral Places, efpecially under the Roots of 
Mountains and Hills, feparate one from ano- 
ther, fometimes by whole Regions and Coun- 
tries inter pos'd. Be/ides, what Fountains, if 
they were broken up, could let out this Wa- 
ter, or bring it upon the Face of the Earth ? 
When we fink a Mine, or dig a Well, the Wa- 
ters, when uncover'd, do not leap out of their 
Places out of thofe Cavities^ or at leaft, do 
not flow upon the Earthy 'Tis not as if you 


The Deluge and Diffolutm of the Earth. 1 1 j 
opened a Vein^ ^vhere the Blood fpirts out, and 
fifeth higher than it5 Source i but as when you 
take off the Cover of a Veflel, the Water 
doth not fly out Tor that : So if we fliDuld 
imagine all the fubterraneous Cavetns of the 
Earth iihcover'd, and the Waters laid bare, 
there they Would lie linmov'd in their Beds, 
if the Earth did riot fall into them to farce 
them up. Furthermore, If thefe Waters were 
any way extraded and laid upon the Surface 
of the Ground^ nothing would be gain'd as to 
the Deluge by that, fdr as much Water would 
run into thefe Holes agaih when the Deluge 
tieglin to rife ; fo that this would be but an 
tifelefs Labour, and turn to ho Account. And 
laftly, Thefe Waters are no way fufficieht for 
Qtiantity to anfwer to the Mofaical Ahyk^ of 
to be the principal Caufe of the Deluge, as 
that was: 

Now, feeiilg neither the Sea, as it is at pre- 
fent, hdr the liibterranedus Waters, as they 
are at prefent, can anfwer to the Mofaical A- 
byfs, we are fure there is nothing in this pre- 
fent Eirth that tan anfwer to it. Let us then 
(fn the other Hand compare it with that fubter- 
raneoLis Abyfs, which we have found in the 
Ante-diluvian Earth, feprefented 5 JFig. 2, 
p. 78. and examine their Characters and Cor- 
refpdndency : Firft, Mofe^'s Abyfs was cover'd, 
and fubterraneousj for the Fountains of it are 
faid to have been cloven or burft open ; then, it 
was vaft and capacious ; and thirdly, it was 
fo difpos'd, as to be capable of a Difruption, 
that would caufe ail univerfal Deluge to the 
Earth. Our Ante-diluvian Abyfb anlwerstrn- 
Book I. I Iv 

1 14 The Theory of the E a r t ri. 
ly to all thefe Chara<aers ; it was in the Womb 
of the Earth ; the Earth was founded upon 
thofe Waters, as the Pfabfiift faith y or they 
were inclos'd within the Earth as in a Bag. 
Then for the Capacity of it, it contained both 
all the Waters now in the Ocean, and all thofe 
that are difpers'd in the Caverns of the Earth : 
And laftly, it is manifeft its Situation was fuch, 
that upon a Difruption or DifTolution of the 
Earth which covered it^ an univerfal Deluge 
would arife. Seeing then this anfwers the De- 
fcription, and all the Properties of the Mofai- 
cal Abyfs, and nothing elfe will, how can we 
in Reafon judge it otherwife than the fame, 
and the very Thing intended and propos'd in 
the Hiftory of NoaVs Deluge under the Name 
of Tehom-Rabba^ or the great Abyfs, at whofe 
Difruption the World was over-flow'd ? And 
as we do not think it an unhappy Difcovery to 
have found out, (with a moral Certainty) the 
Seat of the Mofakal Abyfs, which hath been 
almoft as much fought for, and as much in 
vain, as the Seat of Paradife ^ fo this gives us 
a great Aflurance, that the Theory we have 
given of a general Deluge, is not a mere Ide^, 
but is to be appropriated to the Deluge of 
Noahj as a true Explication of it. 

And to proceed now from Mofes to other 
divine Writers , That our Defcription is a Re- 
ality, both as to the Ante-diluvian Earth, and 
as to the Deluge, we may further be convinc'd 
from St,Feters Difcourfe concerning thofe two 
Things, 2 EpiJL 3. 6. St. Peter faith, that the 
Conffitution of the Ante-diluvian Earth was 
fuch, in reference to the Waters, that by rea- 

The Deluge and DiJJblUtion of the Earth, 115 
fbn of that it was obnoxious to a Deluge ; we 
fay thefe Waters were the great Abyfs it flood 
upon, by reafon whereof that World was re- 
ally expos'd to a Deluge^ and overwhelm'd in 
it upon the Difruption of this Abyfs, as Mofe^ 
witnefles. 'Tis true, St. Peter doth not fpeci- 
fy what thofe Waters were, nor mention ei- 
ther the Sea, or the Abyfs ,• but feeing Mofes 
tells us, that it was by the Waters of the A-' 
byfs that the Earth was overwhelm'd, St. Pe- 
ters Waters muft be underftood of the fame 
Abyfs, becaufe he fuppofeth them the Caufe 
of the fame Deluge. And, I think, the A- 
poftle's Difcourfe there cannot receive a better 
lUuftration,. than from Mofes's Hidory of the 
Deluge. Mofe^ diftinguiflies the Caufes of the 
Flood into thofe that belong to the Heavens, 
and thofe that belong to the Earth j the Rains 
and the Abyfs : St. Peter alfo diflinguiflieth 
the Caufes of the Deluge into the Conftitution 
of the Heavens, in reference to its Waters ; 
and the Conftitution of the Earth, in reference 
to its Waters ; and no doubt they both aim at 
the fame Caufes, as they refer to the fame Ef- 
fed, only Mofes mentions the immediate Cau- 
fes, the Rains and the Waters of the Abyfs , 
and St. Peter mentions the more reniote and 
fundamental Caufes, that Conftitution of the^ 
Heavens, and that Conftitution of the Earth, 
in reference to their refpecftive Waters, which 
made that World obnoxious to a Deluge; And 
thefe two fpeaking of Noah's Deluge, and a- 
greeing thus with one another, and both vvrith 
us, or with the Theory which we have given 
of a general Deluge, we may fafely ccnclmde, 

I 2 that 

11 6 ■ The Theory of th h At. m. 
that it is no imaginary Idea, but a true Ac- 
count of that ancient Flood, whereof Mofer 
bath left us the Hiftory. 

And feeing the right Underftanding of the 
'Mofakal Abyfs is fufficient alone to prove all 
we have delivered concerning the Deluge, as 
alfo concerning the Frame of the Ante-dilu- 
Tian Earth, give me Leave to take Notice here 
of fome other Places of Scripture, which we 
mentioned before, that feem nianifeftly to de- 
fcribe this fame Form of the Abyfs with the 
Earth above it, i Efdr. j6. 58. Pptk 24. 2. He- 
fo0tded the Eatth upo?i the Sea'<^j and ejla- 
blifb^d it upon the Flood!:, And F[al 136. 6. 
He ftretched out the Earth ahon)e the Waters. 
Now this Foundation of the Earth upon the 
Waters, or Exteniion of it above the Waters, 
2 Efdr, C.6. doth moft aptly agree to that Struc- 
ture and Situation of the Abyfs and the Ante- 
diluvian Earth, which we have nilign'd them, 
and which we have before defcrib'd , but very 
improperly and forcedly to the prefent Form of 
the Earth and the Waters. In that fecond Place 
of the Vj'ahnift^ the Word may be render'd ei- 
ther, he ftretch'd, as we read it, or he fet arrd 
Gonfolidated the Earth above the Waters, as 
the Vulgate and Septuagint tranflate it : For 
'tis from the fame Word with that which is 
ufed for the Firmament, Gen. i. So that as the 
Firmament was extended over and around the 
Earth, fo was the Earth extended over and' 
about the Waters, in that firft Conftitution of 
Things ; and I remember fome of the Ancients 
ufe this very Comparifon of the Firmament and- 


The Belkgeand DiJfolutioJi of the Earth, riy 
Earthy to exprefs the Situation of ^the jpa^adi- 
•iiacal Earth in reference to the Sea or Abyfs. 

There is another remarkable Place in the 
Pfalms^ to fhew the Difpofition of the Waters 
inthefirft Earth ^ Pfnl 33. 7. He gather eth the 
Waters of the Sea as 'in a Bag^ he layeth up tht 
Abyjjes in Store-hotifes. Tiiis aiifwers very fitly 
and naturally to the Place and Difpofition of 
%he Abyfs wiiicfi it had before the Deluge, in- 
*-closM within the Vault of the Earth, as in a 
"Bag, or in a Store-houfe. I know very well 
what I render here in a Bag, is render'd iti the 
Englijhj as an Heap ; but that Tranflation of 
-the Word.feems to be grounded on the old 
Error, that the Sea is higher than the .Land, 
^nd fo doth not make a true Senfe. Neither 
are the two Parts of the'Verfe fo well 
Suited and coiifequent one to another , if 
the firft exprefs ^ an high Situation of the 
Waters, and the fecond a low one. And ac- 
cordingly the 'Vulgate, 'Septuagint, and Orien- 
tal Verfions and Paraphrafe, as alfo Symmach:{-^ 
-St. Jeront^ and Bafil^ render ft as we do here, 
in a Bagj tDr by Terms equivalent. 

To tiiefe Paffiges of the Pfa:!?mi% coneem- 
ing the Form of the Abyfs and the firft Earthy 
give me leave to add this general Remark, that 
they are commonly ufiier'd in, or followed, 
with fomething of Admiration in the Prophet. 
We obferv'd before, that the Formation of the 
firft Earth, after fuch a wonderful Manner, 
being a Piece of divine Architeiture, w^en it 
was fpoken of in Scripture, it was ufually 
Sicrib'jd to a particular Providence, and a.ccord- 

I 3 i^giy 

II 8 The Theory of thf Earth. 
ingly we fee in thefe Places ,jk)w mentioned, 
that it is ftill made the Objed of Praife and 
Admiration : In that 1 36th Pfalm 'tis reckoned 
among the Wonders of God^ Verfes j^^ 5, 6. 
'Ghe Praife to him who alone doth great Won-- 
ders i To him that by Wifdom made the Ilea-- 
^fbens : To him that fir etched out the Earth abo^e 
■the Waters, And in like Manner^ in that 33d 
Tfahn y \is joiad with the Forming of the 
Heavens, and made the Subjed of the Divine 
Power and Wifdom : Verfes 6, j^ 8, 9. By the 
Word of the Lord were the Heave/is made^ and 
all the Hofl of therH by the Breath of his Mouth; 
Jie gather eth the Waters of the Sea together^ as in 
A Bctgy he lay el h up the Abyfs in Store-houfes. 
Let all the Earth fear the Lord; Let all the In^ 
habitants of the World fiand in awe of hi?n ; For 
he fpake^ and it was ; he mnmandedy and it 
flood faft. Namely, all Things flood in that 
wonderful Pofture'in which the Word of his 
Power and Wifdom had eftablifli'd them. D^- 
'vid often made the Works of Nature, and the 
external World, the Matter of his Medita- 
tions, and of his Praifes and philofophical De- 
votions 5 refleding fometimes upon thepreient 
Form of the World, and fometimes upon the 
primitive Form of it : And tho' poetical Ex- 
prellions, as thePfalms are, feldom are fo de- 
terminate and diftind, but that they may be 
interpreted mote than one Way, yet, I think, 
it cannot but be acknowledg'd, that thofe Ex- 
preflions and Paffages that we have'inftanc'd 
|n, afe more fairly and aptly underftood of the 
lincient Form' of the Sea^ or the Abyfs, as it 

The Deluge and Dijfolution of the Earth. 119 
was inclos'd within the Earth, than of the 
prefent Form of it in an open Channel. 

There are alfo in the Book o(Job many no- 
ble Refleftions upon the Works of Nature, 
and upon the Formation of the Earth and the 
Abyfs ; whereof that in Chap. 26,7, He firetch- 
eth out the North c^er the empty Places^ and 
ha?jgeth the Earth upon nothings feems to paral- 
lel the ExprelTion of Da^vid ; He firetched out 
the Earth upon the Waters ; for the Word we 
render the empty Place is T O H U, which is ap- 
ply'd to the Chaos and the firft Abyfs, Gen.i.i. 
and the hanging the Earth upon nothing is much 
more wonderful, if it be underftood of the 
firft habitable Earth, that hung over the Wa- 
ters, fuftain'd by nothing but its own peculiar 
Form, and the Libration of its Parts, than if 
it be underftood of the prefent Earth, and the 
whole Body of it ; for if it be in its Center 
or proper Place, whither fliould it fink further, 
or whither fliould it go ? But this PafTage, toge- 
ther with the foregoing and following Verfes, 
requires a more critical Examination than this 
Difcourfe will eafily bear. 

There is another remarkable Difcourfe in 
Job^ that contains many Things to our prefent 
Purpofe, 'tis C/j^p. 38. where God reproaches 
Job with his Ignorance of what pafs'd at 
the beginning of the World, .and the For- 
mation of the Earth, Verfes 4, 5, 6. Where 
waft thou when I laid the Foundations of 
the Earth 1 Declare , /f thou haji Under- 
Jlanding, Who hath laid the Meafures there- 
of if thou knowefi ? or who hath Jiretched the 
Li?ie upon it ? WJoereupon are the Foundations 

I 4 thereof 

1 20 The Theory of the Earth. 
thereof fafined ? or who laid the Corner-flone ? 
All thefe Queflions have far more Force an4 
Emphalis, more Propriety and Elegancy, if 
they he underftood of the firft and Ante-ililu- 
vian Form of the Earth, than if they be under- 
ftood of the prefent , for in the prefent Form 
of the Earth there is no Architedure, no Struc- 
ture, no morethan in a Ruin ^ or at leafrnone 
comparatively to what was in the firft Form of 
it- And that the exterior and fuperficial Part 
of the Earth is here fpoken of, appears by the 
Rule and Line apply'd to it ,-' but what Rule 
or Regularity is there in theSurface of the pre^ 
fent Earth ? What Line was us'd to level its 
Parts ? But in its original Conftruftion, when 
it lay fmooth and regular in its Surface, as if 
it had been drawn by Rule and Linein every 
Part; and when it hung poivd upon the Deep, 
without Pillar or Foundation-ftone, then juft 
Proportidns were taken, and every Thing 
plac'd by Weight and Meafure : And this, I 
doubt not, was that artificial Strudure here 
alluded to ; and when this Work washnilh'd, 
then The Morning Stars fang together^ and all 
the Sons of God (bouted for Joy ^ Vtrfeq. ' 

Thus far the Qiieftions proceed upon the 
Form and Conftrudlion of the firft Earth ; ih 
the following Verff.s \8, 5>, lo, ir.) they pro- 
ceed upon the Demolition of that Earth, the 
opening the Abyfs, and the prefent State of 
both. Oil who fimt- up the Sea with Doors when 
it brake forth ^ as 'if if had ifftid out of a Womb ? 
Who can doubt but this was at the breaking 
ope'n- of the FotpUMis of the Abyfs ^ Gen: r.ii. 

The Deluge and Diffolutio^^f the Earth. 1 1 1 
when the Waters gufh'd out, as out of the 
great Womb of Nature ; and by reafon of 
that Confufion and Perturbation of Air and 
Water that rofe upon it, a thick Mift and 
Darknefs was round the Earth, and all Things 
2CS in a fecond Chaos, When I made the Cloud 
the Garment thereof^ and thick Darknefs a Swad- 
dling-band for it^ and brake up for it my decreed 
Flace^ and made Bars and Doors, Namely, 
(taking the Words as thus ufually render'd) 
the prefent Channel of theSea was made \vhen 
the Abyfs was broke up, and at the fame Time 
were made the fliory Rocks and Mountains, 
which are the Bars and Boundaries of the Sea. 
Jind faid hitherto jhalt thou come^ and no fur- 
ther^ and here fiall thy proud Wanjcs be ftayd. 
Which laft Sentence fhows, that this cannot 
be underftood of the rirft DifpoCtion of the 
Waters, as they were before the Flood, for 
their proud Waves broke thoie Bounds, what- 
foever they were, when they overflowed the 
Earth in the Deluge. And that the Womb 
which they broke out of was the great Abyfs, 
the Chaldee Paraphrafe in this Place doth ex- 
prefly mention ,• and what can be underftood 
by (o nninn, the Womb of the Earthy but that 
fubterranebus Capacity in which the Abyfs 
lay ? Then that which followeth is a Defcrip- 
tion or Reprefentation of the great Deluge 
that enfu'd, and of that Diforder in Nature 
that was then, and how the Waters were fet- 
tled and bounded afterwards. Not unlike the 
Defcription in the 104th Pfalm^ Ferfes 6, 7, 

1 2 2 The Theory of the Eakyk. 

85 9. And thus much for thefe Places in the- 

Book of Job, 

There remains a remarkable Difcourfe in 
the Pro'verbs of Solo??ion^ relating to the Mofah 
cal Abyfs, and not only to that, but to the Ori- 
gin of the Earth in general ; where JVifdo?n 
declares her Antiquity and Pre-exiftence 
to all the AVorks of this Earth, Chap. 8. Vcr, 
23, 24, 25, 265 27, 28. / was- fet up from 
E'verlafting^ from the Begmiing^ ere the Earth 
was. When there were no Deeps or Abyfjes^ I 
was brought forth ; when no Fountains abounds 
ing with Water. Then in the 27th Verfe^ When 
he prepared the Hea'vens^ I was there; when he 
fet a Compafs upon the Face of the Deep or A- 
byfs. When he eftabliJJoed the Clouds above ^ 
when he flrengthted the Fountains of the Abyfs, 
Here is mention made of the Abyfs, and of 
the Fountains of the Abyfs ; and who can 
queftion, but that the Fountains of the Abyfs 
here, are the fame with the Fountains of the 
Abyfs which Mofes mentions, and were broken 
open, as he tells us, at the Deluge ? Let us 
obferve therefore what Form Wifdom gives to 
this Abyfs, and confequently to the Mofaical : 
And here feem to be two Expreflions that de- 
termine the Form of it, Ferfe 28. Hejirength^ 
ned the Fountains of the Abyfs^ that is, the Co- 
ver of thofe Fountains, for the Fountains could 
be ftrengthned no other Way than by making 
a ftrong Cover or Arch over them. And that 
Arch is exprefs'd more fully and diftindly in 
the foregoing Verfe^ When he prep^rd the Hea- 

The Deluge and DiJJblutionof the Earth. 123 
wm^ I was there , when he fet a Compafs on 
the Face of the Abyfs ; we render it Co7?ipafi^ 
the Word fignifies a Circle or Circumference, 
or an Orb or Sphere. So there was in the Be* 
ginning of the World a Sphere, Orb or Arch 
let round the Abyfs, according to the Tefti- 
mony of IVifdom^ who was then prefent. And 
this fliews us both the Form of the Mofakal 
Abyfs, which was included within this Vault : 
And the Form of the habitable Earth, which 
was the outward Surface of this Vault, or the 
Cover of the Abyfs that was broke up at the 

And thus much, I think, is fufficient to have 
noted out of Scripture, concerning the Mofai- 
cal Abyfs, to difcover the Form, Place, and 
Situation of it ; which I have done the more 
largely, becaufe that being determin'd, it will 
draw in eafily all the reft of our Theory con- 
cerning the Deluge. I will now only add one 
or two general Obfervations, and fo conclude 
this Difcourfe : The firft Obfervation is con- 
cerning the Abyfs ; namely, That the opem?jg 
andjhutting ojtheAbyfs^ is the great Hinge up- 
on which Nature turns in this Earth : This 
brings another Face of Things, other Scenes, 
and a new World upon the Stage : And ac- 
cordingly it is a Thing often mention'd and 
alluded to in Scripture, fometimes in a natu- 
ral, fonietimes in a moral or theological Senfe i 
and in both Senfes, our Saviour fhuts and o- 
pens it as he pleafeth. Our Saviour, who is 
both Lord of Nature and of Grace, whofe Do- 
niinion is both in Heaven and in Earth, hath a 


124 *^^^ Theory of the Eaxtk. 
double Key ; that of the Abyfs , whereby 
Death and Hell are in his Povver, and all the 
Revolutions of Natui'e are under his Condu^ 
and Providence ; and the Key ofDaznd^ wliere- 
by he admits or excludes from 'the City of 
God, and the Kingdom of Heaven whom he 
pleafeth. Job ii. lo, 12, 14. Apoc. i. 18. 20. 
1^25 3.. 21. I. Jpoc. -}.-]. Ifa. 22. 22.0ftliofe 
Places that refers to the iliutting and opening 
the Abyfs in a natural Senfe, I cannot but par- 
ticularly take Notice of that in Job.^ Chap, 1 2;. 
Ver. 1 45 1 5- & Chap. 1 1 . i o, God breaketh down^ 
and it cannot be built again : tie JJoutteth up 
Ma?ty and there can be no opening : Beheld^ he 
withholdeth the Watery^ and they dry tip j alfo he 
fcndeth them out^ and they o'vertm-n the Earth. 
Tho' thefe Things be true of God in leffer and 
common Inftances, yet to me it is plain, that 
they principally refer to the Deluge, the open^ 
ing and Ihuttiiig the Abyfs, with the DilTolu^ 
tion or Subveriion of the Earth thereupon ^• 
and accordingly they are made the great Effe^Ss 
of the divine Power and Wifdom in the 
1 3th Ver[e of Chap. 1 2 . With God is IVifdovi and 
Strength^ he hath Counfel and Under ft andi?ig 5 
Behold^ he breaketh down^ &c. And alfo in 
the Concluiion 'tis repeated again, Verfe 16. 
With him is Strength and Wifdom j which So- 
lemnity would fcarce have been us'd for com- 
mon Inftances of his Power. When God is 
faid to build or pull dow^n, and no Body can 
build again, 'tis not to be underftood of an 
Houfe or a Town. God builds and unbuilds 
Worlds ; and w^ho ihall build up that Arch 


The Deluge and 'Di}foliitio7i of the Earth, ri $ 
that was broke down at the Deluge ? AVhere 
fliall they lay the Foundation, or how Ihall 
the Mountains be rear'd up again to make Part 
of the Roof? This is the Fabrick^ which when 
God breaketh down, none can build up again. 
Jie ipithholdeth the Water^^ and they dry up : 
As we ftiew'd the Earth to have been immo- 
derately chap''d and parch'd before its DifTolu- 
tion. He [eJideth them forth^ and they cxcr- 
turn the Earth. What can more properly ex- 
prefs the breaking out of the Waters at the 
Difruption of the Abyfs, and the Subverfion 
or Diflfolution of the Earth in confequence of 
it ? 'Tis true, this laft PalTage may be applied 
to the breaking out of Waters in an ordinary 
Earthquake, and the Subverfion of fome Part 
of the Earth, which often follows upon it ; 
but it muft be acknowledg'd, that the Senfe is 
luore weighty, if it be refer'd to the great 
Deluge, and the great Earthquake which laid 
the World in Ruins and in Water. And phi- 
lofophical Defcriptions in facred Writings, like 
Prophecies^ have often a leller and a greater 
Accomplifhment and Interpretation. 

I could not pafs by this Place without giving' 
this fliort Explication of it. We proceed now 
to the fecond Obfervation, which is concern- 
ing the Style of Scripture, in moft of thofe Pla- 
ces we have cited, and others upon the fame 
Siibjeft. The Refleftions that are made in fe- 
veral Parts of the divine Writings, upon the 
Origin of the World, and the Formation of 
the Earth, feem to m.e to be writ in a Style 
iamething approaching to the Nature of a pro- 

1 16 The Theory of the E a r t h.' 
phetical Style, and to have more of a divine 
Enthufiafm and Elocution in them^ than the 
ordinary Text of Scripture 1 the Expreffions 
are lofty, and fometimes abrupt, and often 
figurative and difguis'd, as may be obferv'd in 
moft of thofe Places we have made ufe of, 
and particularly in that Speech of Wifdomj 
Frcv. 8. where the 26th Verfe is fo obfcure, 
that no two Verfions that I have yet met with, 
whether ancient or modern, agree in the Tran- 
flation of that Verfe. And therefore, tho' I 
fully believe that the Conftrudion of the firft 
Earth is really intended in thofe Words ,• yet 
feeing it could not be made out clear without 
a long and critical Difcuffion of them, I did not 
think that proper to be infifted upon here. We 
may alfo obferve, that whereas there is a dou- 
ble Form or Compofition of the Earth, that 
which it had at firft, or till the Deluge, and 
that which it hath fince j fometimes the one, 
and fometimes the other may be glanc'd upon 
in thefe Scripture Phrafes and Defcriptions ; 
and fo there may be in the fame Difcourfe an 
Intermixture of both. And it comrtionly hap- 
pens fo in an enthufiaftick or prophetick Style, 
that by reafon of the Eagernefs and Trembling 
of the Fancy, it doth not always regularly 
follow the fame even Thread of Difcourfe, 
but ftrikes many times upon fome other Thing 
that hath Relation to it, or lies under or near 
the fame view. Of this we have frequent 
Examples in the Jpocalypfe^ and in that Pro- 
phecy of our Saviour's, Matth. 24. concerning 
the D^RvxiiXionof Jefvfale?n^ and of the World. 


The Deluge and Vijjolution of the Earth 127 
But notwithftanding any fuch Unevennefs or 
Indiftindlnefs in the Style of thofe Places which 
we have cited concerning the Origin and Form 
of the Earth, we may at leaft make this 
Remark, that if there ne^^er was any other 
Form of the Earth but the prefent, nor any 
other State of the Abyfs, than what it is in 
now, 'tis not imaginable what fliould give 
Occafion to all thofe Expreffions and Pafla- 
ges that we have cited ; which being fo ftrange 
in themfelves and paradoxical, Ihould yet fo 
much flivour, and fo fairly comply with our 
Suppofitions. What I have obferv'd in ano- 
ther Place, Tell. Thecr, lib, 2. c. 6. in treating 
of Paradife^ that the Expreffions of the an- 
cient Fathers were very extravagant, if Para- 
dife was nothing but a little Plot of Ground 
in MefofotaiJiia^ as many of late have fancied, 
may in like Manner be obferv'd concerning 
the ancient Earth and Abyfs,if they were in no 
other Form nor other State than what they are 
under now, the Expreffions of the ficred Wri- 
ters concerning them are very ftrange and un- 
accountable, without any fufficient Ground, 
that we know, or any juft Occafion for fuch 
uncouth Reprefentations. If there was no- 
thing intended or refer'd to in thofe Defcrip- 
tions, but the prefent Form and State of the 
Earth, that is fo well known, that in defcri- 
bing of it there would be nothing dark or my- 
fterious, nor any Occafion for Obfcurity in the 
Style or Expreffion, whereof we find fo much 
in thofe. So as, all Things confider'd, what 


'128 The Theory of the E a r t h; 
might otherwife be made an Exception to fomei 
of thefe Texts alledg'd by us, uiz. that thej^ 
are too obfcure, becomes an Argument for 
us : As implying that there is fdmething more 
inteiided by theni than the prefent, and known^ 
Form of the Earth. And we hav'ing proposed 
another Form and Strudiure of the Earth, to 
which thofe Charaders fuit and anfwer more 
eafily^ as this opens and gives Light to thqfe 
difficult Places, fo it may be reafonably con-^ 
eluded to be the very Senle aiid Notion intend- 
ed by the holy Writers. , 

And thus much, I think, is fufficieht to have 
obfervM out of Scripture, to verify our Ex- 
plication of the Deluge, and our Application 
of it to Noah's Flood, both according to the 
Mofaical Hiftory of the Flood, and according 
to many occafional Reflections and Difcdurfes 
difpers'd in other Places of Scripture, concern- 
ing the flmie Flood, or concerning the Abyfs 
and the firft Form of the Earth. And though 
there may be fome other Paflliges of a diffe- 
rent Afpeft, they will be of no Force to dif- 
prove bur Conclufions, becaufe they refpedt the 
prefent Form of the Earth and Sea ; and alfo^ 
becaufe ExpreiTions that deviate more from 
the common Opinion, are more remarkable 
and more proving ; in that there is nothing 
could give Occafioil to fuch, but an Intention 
to exprefs the very Truth. So, for inftance, 
if there was one Place of Scripture that foiJ 
the Eayth was vicv'd^ and feveral that feem'd 
to imply, that the Sun Was mov'd, we fhould 


The Deluge and DiJJoh/tm of the Earth, iig 
have more regard to that one Place for the 
Motion of the Earth, than to all the other 
that made againft it j becaufe thofe others 
might be fpoken and underftood according 
to common Opinion and common Belief, but 
that which affirm'd the Motion of the Earth, 
could not be fpoke upon any other Ground, 
but only for Truth and Inftru(5lion-fake. I 
leave this to be apply'd to the prefent Subjed. 

Thus much for the facred Writings. As to 
the Hiftory of the ancient Heathens, we can- 
not exped: an Account or Narration of Noah's 
Flood, under that Name and Notion ,• but it 
may be of ufe to obferve two Things out of 
that Hiftory. Firft, that the Inundations re- 
corded there came generally to pafs in the 
Manner we have defcrib'd the univerfal De- 
luge ; namely, by Earthquakes and an Erup- 
tion of fubterraneous Waters, the Earth be- 
ing broken and falling in : And of this we fliall 
elfewhere give a full Account out of their Au- 
thors: Secondly, that Deucalion s Deluge in 
particular, which is fuppos'd by moft of the 
ancient Fathers to reprefent Noah's Flood, is 
faid to have been accompanied with a gaping 
or Difruption of the Earth. Apollodorm faith, 
Bibl.lib.i. that the Mountains of Thejfaly wtrQ 
divided afunder, or feoarate one from another 
at that time : And Liician (De Dea Syria) tells 
a very remarkable Story to this purpofe, con- 
cerning Deucalio7is Deluge, and a Ceremony 
obferv'd in the Temple of Hicropolis^ in Com- 
memoration of it 5 which Ceremony feems to 
have been of that Nature, as imply 'd that there 

Book I. K was 

T30 The Theory of the Earth. 
was an opening of the Earth at the Time of 
the Deluge, and that the Waters fubfided in- 
to that again when the Deluge ceas'd. He 
faith, that this Temple at HieropoUs was built 
upon a kind of Abyfs, or had a bottomlefs 
Pit, or gaping of the Earth in one Part of it; 
and the People of Arabia and Syria^ and the 
Countries thereabouts, twice a Year repaired to 
this Temple, and brought with them every 
one a Vefiel of Water, which they pour'd out 
upon the Floor of the Temple, and made a 
kind of an Inundation there in Memory of 
Deucalion's Deluge ; and this Water funk by 
Degrees into a Chafm or opening of a Rock, 
which the Temple flood upon, and fo left the 
Floor dry again. And this was a Rite folemn- 
ly and religioufly perform'd both by the Priefts 
and by the People. If Mofes had left fuch a 
religious Rite among the Jewfy I fliould not 
have doubted to have interpreted it concern- 
ing his Abyfs, and the retiring of the Waters 
into it i but the aftual Difruption of the Abyfs 
could not well be reprefented by any Ceremo- 
ny. And thus much concerning the prefent 
Queftion, and the true Application of our 
Theory to Noah's Flood. 


The Deluge and Tyijfokticn of the Earth, 1 3 1 

Chap. Vlll. 

TJje particular Hijlory of NoahV Hood is explain- 
ed in all the material Parts and (ircuinftances 
of it J according to the preceding Thecry. Any 
feeming Difficulties remo'ved^ and the whoU 
S'-^tion conclud-d^ with a Difcourfe how far 
the Deluge may be look'd upon as the Effect of 
an ordinary Pro^vidence^ and how far of an 


E have now proved our Explication 
of the Deluge to be more than an 
Idea^ or to be a true Piece of natu- 
ral Hiftory j and it may be the greateft and 
mofl remarkable that Ijath yet been fince the 
Beginning of the World. We have fliown it 
to be the real Account of Noah's Floods ac- 
cording to Authority both divine and humane ; 
and I would willingly proceed one ftep fur- 
ther, and declare my Thoughts concerning the 
Manner and Order wherein Nmh's Flood came 
to pafs • in what Method all thofe Things hap- 
pen'd and fucceeded one another, that make 
up the Hiftory of it, as Caufes or Effects, or 
other Parts or Circumftances : As how the 
Ark was born upon the Waters, what Effeft 
the Rains had, at what Time the Earth broke, 
and the Abyfs was opened j and what the 
Condition of the Earth was upon the ending 
of the Flood, and fuch like. But I defire to 
propofe my Thoughts concerning thefe Things 
only as Conjediures, which I will ground as 

K 2 near 

132 The Theory of the Earth. 
near as I can upon Scripture and Reafon, and 
am very willing they fliould be redify'd 
where they happen to be amifs. I know how 
fubjed we are to Miftakes in thefe great and 
remote Things, when we defcend to Parti- 
culars 5 but I am willing to expofe the Theo- 
ry to a full Trial, and to fliew the Way for 
any to examine it, provided they do it with 
Equity and Sincerity. I have no other Defign 
than to contribute my Endeavours to find out 
the Truth in a Subjeft of fo great Importance, 
and wherein the World hath hitherto had fo 
little SatisfocSion : And he that in an obfcure 
Argument propofeth an Hypothefa that reach- 
eth from End to End, though it be not exad: 
in every Particular, 'tis not without a good 
Effefti for it gives Aim to others to take their 
Meafures better, and opens their Invention in 
a Matter which otherwife, it may be, would 
have been impenetrable to. them : As he that 
makes the firft Way thro' a thick Foreft, tho' 
it be not the ftreighteft and fhorteft, deferves 
better, and hath done more than he that 
makes it (freighter and fmoother afterwards. 

Providence that ruleth all things and all 
Ages, after the Earth had flood above fixteen 
hundred Years, thought fit to put a Period to 
that World 5 and accordingly, it was reveal'd 
to Noahy that for the Wickednefs and Dege- 
neracy of Men, God would deftroy Mankind 
with the Enrth {Gen. 6. 13.) in a Deluge of 
Water; whereupon he was commanded, in 
order to the preferving of himfelf and Fiimily, 
as a Stock for the new World, to build a ^reat 


The Deluge and Diffolution of the Earth. 1 33 
Veflel or Ark, to float upon the Waters, and 
had Inftrudions given him for the Building of 
it both as to the Matter and as to the Form. 
Noah believed the Word of God, though a- 
'gainft hisSenfes, and all external Appearances, 
and fet himfelf to work to build an Ark, ac- 
cording to the Diredions given, which after 
many Years Labour was finifii'd ; whilft the 
incredulous World, fecure enough, as they 
thought, againft a Deluge, continued ftill in 
their Excefles and Infolencies, and laught at 
the Admonition of Noah^ and at the Folly of 
his Defign of building an extravagant Machine, 
a Floating Houfe, to fave himfelf from an ima- 
ginary Inundation j for they thought it no lefs, 
feeing it was to be in an Earth where there 
was no Sea, nor any Rain neither in thofe 
Parts, according to the ordinary Courfe of 
Nature ; as Ihall be fliown in the fecond 
Book of this Treatife. 

But when the appointed time was come, 
the Heavens began to melt, and the Rains to 
fiill, and thefe were the firft furprizing Caufes 
and Preparatives to the Deluge j They fell, 
we fuppofe, (tho' we do not know how that 
could proceed from natural Caufes) through- 
out the Face of the whole Earth; which could 
not but have a confiderable Effed on that 
Earth, being even and fmooth, without Hills 
and Eminencies, and might lay it all under 
Water to fome depth ^ fo as the Ark, if it 
could not float upon thofe Rain-waters, at 
leaft taking the Advantage of a River, or of 
a Dock or Ciftern made to receive them, it 

K 3 might 

134 '^^^ Theory of the Earth. 
might be afloar1)efore the Abyfs was broken 
open. For I do not fuppofe the Abyfs broken 
open before any Rain fell^ and when the o- 
pening of the Abyfs and of the Flood-gates 
of Heaven are mention'd together, I am apt 
to think thofe Floodgates were diftind from 
the common Rain, and were fomething more 
violent and impetuous. So that there might 
be preparatory Rains before the Difruption 
of the Abyfs : and I do not know but thofe 
Rains, fo covering up and enclofing the Earth 
on every fide, might providentially contribute 
to the Difruption of it, not only by fofcning 
and weakning the Arch of the Earth in the 
bottom of thofe Cracks and Chafms which 
were made by the Sun, and which the 
Rain would firft run into, but efpecially by 
flopping on a fudden all the Pores of the 
Earth, and all Evaporation, which would 
make the Vapours within ftruggle more vio- 
lently, as we get a Fever by a Cold ; and it 
may be in that ftruggle, the Doors and the 
Bars were broke, and the great Abyfs guflit 
out, as out of a Womb. 

Flowever, when the Rains were fain, we 
nnay fuppofe the Face of the Earth cover'd 
over With Water ,• and whether it was thefe 
Waters that St. Peter refers to, or that of the 
A-byfs afterwards, I cannot tell, when he faith 
in his firft Epiftle, Chap. 3.20. Noah and his 
Family were fa^vd by Water-, fo as the Water 
which deftroy'd the reft of the World, was 
an Inftrumenc of their Confervation , in as 
much as it bore up the Ark, and kept it from 
that impetuous {hock, which it would have 


The Deluge and Diffolution of the Earth. 135: 
bad, if either it had flood upon dry Land 
when the Earth fell, or if the Earth had been 
diffolv'd without any Water on it or under it. 
However, Things being thus prepar'd, let us 
fuppofe the great Frame of the exteriour Earth 
to have broke at this time, or the Fountains 
of the great Abyfs, as Mofes faith, to have 
been then open'd, from thence would ifliie, 
upon the Fall of the Earth, with an unfpeak- 
able Violence, fuch a Flood of Waters as 
would over-run and overwhelm for a Time all 
thofe Fragments which the Earth broke into^ 
and bury in one common Grave all Mankind, 
and all the Inhabitants of the Earth. Befides, 
if the Flood-gates of Heaven were any thing 
diflinft from the Forty Days Rain, their EfFu- 
fion, 'tis likely, was at this flime time ^vhen 
the Abyfs was broken open,- for the finking 
of the Earth would make an extraordinary 
Convulfion of the Regions of the Air, and 
that Crack and Noife that muft be in the Fall- 
ing World, and in the Collifion of the Earth 
and the Abyfs, would make a great and uni- 
verfal ConcufTion above, which things toge- 
ther muft needs fo fhake, or fo fqueeze the 
Atmoi'phere, as to bring down all the remain- 
ing Vapours j But the Force of thefe Motions 
not being equal throughout the whole Air, but 
drawing or preiTing more in fome Places than in 
other, where the Center of the Convulfion 
was, there would be the chiefeft Colle(ftion,and 
there would fall, not Showers of Rain, or 
fingle Drops, but great Spouts or Cafcades of 
Water , and this is that which Mofes feems to 

K 4 call, 

1 3 6 The Theory of the Earth. 

call, not improperly, the Cataraiis of Heaven, 

or the Windows of Hea'ven being fet open. 

Thus the Flood came to its height ; and 'tis 
not eafy to reprefent to our felves this firange 
Scene of things, when the Deluge was in its 
Fury and Extremity ; when the Earth was 
broken and fwallow'd up in the Abyfs, whofe 
raging Waters rife higher than the Mountains, 
and fiU'd the Air with broken Waves, with 
an univerfal Mift, and with thick Darknefs, fo 
as Nature feem'd to be in a fecond Chaos ; and 
upon this Chaos rid the diftreft Ark, that bore 
the fmall Remains of Mankind. No Sea was 
ever fo tumultuous, as this, nor is there any 
thing in prefent Nature to be compared with 
the Diforder of thefe Waters j all the Poetry, 
and all the Hyperboles that are us'd in the De- 
fcription of Storms and raging Seas, were li- 
terally true in this, if not beneath it. The 
Ark was really carry'd to the tops of the high- 
eft Mountains, and into the Places of the 
Clouds, and thrown down again into the deep- 
eft Gulfs J and to this very ftate of the De- 
luge and of the Ark, which was a Type of 
the Church in this World, David feems to 
have alluded in the name of the Church, PfaL 
42. 7. Abyfs calls upon Abyfs at theNoife of thy 
Cataraih or JVater-fpouts ^ all thy JVaves and 
Billows ha've gone over me. It was no doubt 
an extraordinary and miraculous Providence, 
that could make a VefTel, fo ill manM, live 
uponfuch a Sea, that kept it from being dafht 
againft the Hills, or overwhelm'd in the Deeps. 
That Abyfs which haddevour'd and fwallow'd 






The Deluge and 'Diffolution of the Earth. 1 37 
up whole Forefts of Woods, C^ities, and Pro- 
vinces, nay the whole Earth, when it had 
conquer'd all, and triumph'd over all, could 
not deftroy this iingle Ship. I remember in 
the Story of the ArgGnautkh^ Dion. Argonaut, 
I. J, "V. 47. when Jafcn fet out to fetch the 
Golden Fleece, the Poet faith, all the Gods 
that Day look'd down from Heaven to view 
the Ship ,• and the Nymphs flood upon the 
Mountain-tops to fee the noble Youth of Thef- 
faly pulling at the Oars , we may with more 
Reafon fuppofe the good Angels to have 
look'd down upon this Ship of NoaVs -y and 
that not out of Curiofity, as idle Spectators, 
but with a paflionate Concern for its Safety 
and Deliverance. A Ship, whofe Cargo was 
no lefs than a whole World ^ that carry'd the 
Fortune and Hopes of all Pofterity, and if this 
had perifli'd, the Earth for any thing we know 
had been nothing but a Defart, a great Ruin, 
a dead heap of Rubbifh, from the Deluge to 
the Conflagration. But Death and Hell, the 
Grave, and Deftrudion have their Bounds. 
We may entertain our felves with the Confi- 
deration of the Face of the Deluge, and of the 
broken and drown'd Earth, in this Scheme, with 
the floating Ark, and the guardian Angels. 

Thus much for the Beginning and Progrefs 
of the Deluge. It now remains only that we 
confider it in its Decreafe, and the State of the 
Earth after the Waters were retir'd into their 
Channels, which makes the prefent State of it. 
Mofes (iiith, God brought a Wind upon the 


13 8 The Theory of the Earth. 

Waters, and the tops of the Hills became 
bare, and then the lower Grounds and Plains 
by degrees; the Waters being funk into the 
Channels of the Sea, and the KoUownefs of 
the Earth, and the whole Globe appearing in 
the Form it is now under. There needs no- 
thing be added for Explication of this, 'tis the 
genuine Confequence of the Theory we have 
given of the Deluge; and whether this Wind 
was a defcending Wind to deprefs and keep 
down the Swellings and Inequalities of the 
Abyfs, or whether it was only to dry the Land 
as faft as it appear'd,or might have both Etfeds, 
I do not know ; but as nothing can be perpe- 
tual that is violent, fo this Commotion of the 
Abyfs abated after a certain time, and the 
great Force that impeli'd the Waters decrea- 
sing, their natural Gravity began to take Ef- 
feft, and to reduce them into the loweft 
Places, at an equal height, and in an even 
Surface, and level one Part with another: 
That is, in fliort, the Abyfs became our Sea, 
fixt within its Channel, and bounded by Rocks 
and Mountains: Then was the decreed Place 
eftablijht for it^ and Bars and Doers were fet ; 
then Wits it [aid^ hitherto jjjalt thou come ^ and no 
further^ and here jJoall thy frond Waives be ftopt. 
Job 38. 10, II. And the Deluge being thus 
ended, and the Waters fettled in their Chan- 
nels, the Earth took fuch a broken Figure as 
is reprefented in thofe hirger Schemes, p. too. 
And this will be the Form and State of it till 
its great Change comes in the Conflagration, 
when we exped n new Hcaz'en and a new 
f^arth. But 

The Deluge and Diffolutionof the Earth. 139 
But to purfue this Profpeft of Things a lit- 
tle further j we may easily imagine^ tliat for 
many Years after the Deluge ceas'd, the Face 
of the Earth was very different from what it 
is now, and the Sea had other Bounds than it 
hath at prefent. I do not doubt but the Sea 
reach'd much further in- land, and clim'd high- 
er upon the Sides of the Mountains ; and I 
have obferv'd in many Places a Ridge of 
Mountains fom.e Diftance from the Sea, and a 
Plain from their Roots to the Shore ^ which 
Plain no doubt was formerly cover'd by the 
Sea, bounded againft thofe Hills as its firft and 
natural Ramparts, or as the Ledges or Lips of 
its Veffel. And it feems probable, that the 
Sea doth ftill grow narrower from Age to 
Age, and finks more within its Channel and 
the Bowels of the Earth, according as it can 
make its Way info all thofe fubterraneous Ca- 
vities, and crowd the Air out of them. We 
fee whole Countries of Land gain'd from it, 
and by feveral Indications, as ancient Seaports 
left dry and ufelefs, old Sea-marks far within 
the Land, Pieces of Ships, Anchors, d'C- left 
at a great Diftance from the prefent Shores ; 
from thefe Signs, and fuch like, we may con- 
clude that the Sea reach'd many Places former- 
ly that now are dry Land, and at firft I believe 
was generally bound in on either Side with a 
Chain of Mountains. So I fhould eafily ima- 
gine the Mediterranean Sea^ for inftance, to 
nave been bounded by the Continuation of 
the Jlps through Dauphine and Langtiedcck to 
the F)rc?2ear:sydid at the other End by the Dar- 


140 The Theory of the Earth. 
7?iatick Mountains almoft to the Black Sea. 
Then Atlas major^ which runs along with the 
Mediterranean from Mgjpt to the Atlctntkk 
Ocean, and now parts Barbary and Numidiay 
may poflibly have been the ancient Barrier on 
the Africk Side. And in our own liland I 
could eafily figure to my felf, in many Parts of 
it, other Sea- bounds than what it hath at pre- 
fent ^ and the like may be obferv'd in other 

And as the Sea had much larger Bounds for 
fome Time after the Deluge, fo the Land had 
a different Face in many Refpefts to what it 
hath nowj for we fuppofe the Valleys and 
lower Grounds, where the Defcent and Deri- 
vation of the Water was not fo eafy, to have 
been full of Lakes and Pools for a long Time ; 
and thefe were often converted into Fens and 
Bogs, where the Ground being fpungy, fuck'd 
up the Water, and the loofen*d Earth fwell'd 
into a foft and pappy Subflance ^ which would 
ftill continue fo, if there was any Courfe of 
Water fenfible or infenfible, above or within 
the Ground, that fed this moifl Place : But if 
the Water flood in a more firm Bafin, or on a 
Soil, which for its Heavinefs or any other 
Reafon would not mix with it, it made a Lake 
or clear Pool. And we may eafily imagine 
there were innumerable fuch Lakes, and Bogs 
and Faflneffes for many Years after the Deluge, 
till the World begun to be pretty well flock'd 
with People , and humane Induflry clean- 
fed and drained thofe unfruitful and unhabi- 
table Places. And thofe Countries that have 


The Deluge and Diffoliiiion of the Earth. 141 
been later cultivated, or by a lazier People, 
retain ftiU, in Proportion to their Situation 
and Soil, a greater Number of them. 

Neither is it at all incongruous or inconveni- 
ent to fuppofe^that the Face of the Earth flood 
in this Manner for many Years after the De- 
luge j for while Mankind was fmall and few, 
they needed but a little Ground for their Seats 
or Sullenance ; and as they grew more nume- 
rous, the Earth proportionably grew more 
dry, and more Parts of it fit for Habitation. 
I eafily believe that Plato s Obfervation or 
Tradition [_dc Leg, //. 3.] is true, that Men at 
firft, after the Flood, liv'd in the Up-lands 
and Sides of the Mountains, and by Degrees 
funk into the Plains and lower Countries, 
when Nature had prepar'd them for their Ufe, 
and their Numbers requir'd more Room. The 
Hiftory of Mo/^x, Gen, 11. tells us, that fome 
Time after the Deluge, Noah and his Pofteri- 
ty, his Sons and his Grand-children, chang'd 
their Quarters, and fell down into the Plains 
of Shiner^ from the Sides of the Hills where 
the Ark had refled , and in this Plain was the 
laft general Rendezvous of Mankind ; fo long 
they feem to have kept in a Body, and from 
thence they were divided and broken intoCom- 
panies, and difpers'd, firft, into the neighbour- 
ing Countries, and then by degrees through- 
out the whole Earth ^ the feveral fucceflive 
Generations, like the Waves of the Sea when 
it flows, over-reaching one another, and ftri- 
king out further and further upon the Face of 
the Land. Not that the whole Earth was 


142 The Theory of the Earth. 
peopled by an uniform Propagation of Man- 
kind every Way, from one Place, as a com- 
mon Center ; like the Swelling of a Lake 
upon a Plain : For fometimcs they fhot out 
in length, like Rivers, and fometimes they 
flew into remote Countries in Colonies, like 
Swarms from the Hive, and fettled there, lea- 
ving many Places uninhabited betwixt them 
and their firft Home. Sea-fhores and Iflands 
were generally the laft Places inhabited ; for 
while the Memory or Story of the Deluge was 
frefh amongft them, they did not care for co- 
ming fo near their late Enemy ^ or at leaft^ to 
be inclos'd and furrounded by his Forces. 

And this may be fufficient to have dif- 
cours'd concerning all the Parts of the Deluge, 
and the Reftitution of the Earth to an habita- 
ble Form, for the further Union of our Theo- 
ry with the Hiftory of Mofes ; there refts only 
one Thing in that Hiftory to be taken notice 
of, which may be thought polTibly not to agree 
fo well with our Account of the Deluge ; 
namely, that Mofes feems to fhut up the Abyfs 
again at the End of the Deluge, which our 
Explication fuppofeth to continue open. But 
befides that Half the Abyfs is ftill really co- 
vered, Mofes faith the fame Thing of the Win- 
dows of Heaven, that they were {hut up too^ 
and he feemeth in both to exprefs only the 
Ceffation of the Efifedl which proceeded from 
their opening : For as Mofes had afcrib'd the 
Deluge to the opening of rhefe two, fo when 
it was to ceafe, he faith, thefe two were fhut 
up y as they were really put into fuch a Con- 

The Deluge and DiJfolutio?i of the Earth. 14; 
dition, both of them, that they could not 
continue the Deluge any longer, nor ever be 
the Occafion of a fecond ; and therefore in that 
Senfe, and as to that EffccS were for ever fiiut 
up. Some may poflibly make that alfo an 
Objedion againrt ijis, that Mofes mentions and 
fuppofes the Mountains at the Deluge, for he 
faith, the Waters reached fifteen Cubits above 
the Tops of them ; whereas we fuppofe the 
Antediluvian Earth to have had a plain and 
uniform Surface, without any Inequality of 
Hills and Valleys. But this is eafily anfwer'd, 
it was in the Height of the Deluge that Mofe^ 
mentioned the Mountains, and we fuppofe 
them to have rifen then, or more towards the 
Beginning of it, when the Earth was broke ; 
and thefe Mountains continuing ftill upon the 
Face of the Earth, Mofes might very well take 
them for a Standard to meafure and exprefs to 
Pofterity the Height of the Waters, though 
they were not upon the Earth when the De- 
luge begun. Neither is there any mention 
made, as is obferv'd by fome, of Mountains 
in Scripture, or of Rain, till the Tinie of the 

We have now finifli'd our Account of No- 
ah's Flood, both generally and particularly ; 
and 1 have not wittingly omitted or conceal'd 
any Difficulty that occur'd to me, either 
from the Hiftory, or from abftrad Reafon : 
Our Theory, fo far as I know, hath the Con- 
fent and Authority of both : And how far it 
agrees and is demonftrable from natural Ob- 
fervation, or from the Form and Ph^norriena 


144 The Theory of the Earth- 
of this Earth, as it lies at prefent, fhall be the 
Subjecft of the remaining Part of this firft 
Book. In the mean time I do not know any 
Thing more to be added in this Part, unlefs it 
be to conclude with an Advertifement to pre- 
vent any Miftake or Mifconftrudion, as if this 
Theory, by explaining the Deluge in a natural 
Way, in a great Meafure, or, by natural Cau- 
fes, did detraft from the Power of God, by 
which that great Judgment was brought 
upon the World in a providential and miracu- 
lous Manner. 

To fatisfy all reafonable and intelligent Per- 
fons in this Particular, I anfwer and declare, 
firft. That we are far from excluding divine 
Providence, either ordinary or extraordinary, 
from the Caufes and Condud: of the Deluge. 
I know a Sparrow doth not fall to the Ground 
without the Will of 'our heavenly Father, 
much lefs doth the great World fall in pieces 
without his good Pleafure and Superintenden- 
cy. In him all Things live, move, and have 
their Being ; Things that have Life and 
Thought have it from him, he is the Fountain 
of both : Things that have Motion only, with- 
out Thought, have it alfo from him : And 
what hath only naked Being, without Thought 
or Motion, owe ftill that Being to him. And 
thefe are not only deriv'd from God at firft, 
but every Moment continued and conferv'd 
by him. So intimate and univerfil is the De- 
pendance of all Things upon the divine Will 
and Power. 


The Deluge and Di/Jbltnion of the Earth. 145 
In the fecond Place^ they are guilty, in my 
Judgment, of a great Error or Indifcretion, 
that oppofe the Courfe of Nature to Provi- 
dence. St. Iraulhys {Ads 14. 17.) God hath 
not left us without Witnefs, in that he gives 
us Rain from Heaven ; yet Rains proceed from 
natural Caufes, and fall upon the Sea as well 
as upon the Land. In like manner, our Savi- 
our, Matt. 6, 21. makes thofe Things Inftan- 
ces of divine Providence, which yet come to 
pafs in an ordinary Courfe of Nature ,• in that 
Part of his excellent Sermon upon the Mount, 
Luke 12. 24. that concerns Providence, he 
bids them Confider the Lillies how they grow^ 
they toil not^ neither do they ffin^ and yet Solo- 
mon in all his Glory was not array d like one of 
thefe : He bids them alfo confider the Ra'vensy 
they neither fow norreap^ ?ieither ha've they Store- 
houfe nor Barn^ and God feedeth them. The 
Lillies grow, and the Ravens are fed accord- 
ing to the ordinary Courfe of Nature, and yet 
they are juftly made Arguments of Provi- 
dence by our Saviour ; nor are thefe Things 
lefs providential, becaufe conftant and regu- 
lar j on the contrary, fuch a Difpofition or 
Eftabliftiment of fecond Caufes, as will in the 
beft Order, and for a long SuccefTion, pro- 
duce the moft regular Effefts, alTifted only 
with the ordinary Concourfe of the firfl Caufe, 
is a greater Argument of Wifdom and Con- 
trivancej than luch a Difpofition of Caufes as 
will not in fo good an Order, or for fo long a 
Time produce regular Effeds, without an ex- 
traordinary Concourfe and Interpolition ©f the 
Book L L firft 

x^e The Theory of the Earth. 
fir ft Caufe. This, I think, is clear to every 
Man's Judgment. We think him a better 
Artift that makes a Clock that ftrikes regular- 
ly at every Hour from the Springs and Wheels 
which he puts in the Work, than he that hath 
fo made his Clock that he muft put his Finger 
to it every Hour to make it ftrike : And if one 
fliould contrive a Piece of Clock-work fo that 
it fliould beat all the Hours,- and make all its 
Motions regularly for fuch a Time, and that 
Time being come, upon a Signal given, or a 
Spring touch'd, it fhould of its own accord 
fall ail to pieces ; would nbt this be look'd 
upon as a Piece of greater Art, than if the 
Workman came at that Time prefixed, and 
with a great Hammer beat it into pieces ? I 
ufe thefe Comparifons to convince us, that it k 
no Detradion from divine Providence, that 
the Courfe of Nature is exad: and regular^ 
and that even in its greateft Changes and Re- 
volutions it fliould flill confpire and be pre- 
par'd to anfwer the Ends and Purpofes of the 
divine Will in reference to the moral World, 
This feems to me to be the great Art of di- 
vine Providence, fo to adjuft the two Worlds, 
humane and natural, material and intelledual, 
as feeins: thro' the Poifibilities and Futuritions 
of each, according to the firft State and Cir- 
cumftances he puts them under, they fliould 
all along correfpond and fit one another, and 
efpecially in their great Crifes and Periods. 

Thirdly, Befidesthe ordinary Providence of 
God in the ordinary Courfe of Nature, there 
IS doubtiefs an extraordinary Providence that 


The Deluge and Difjotutim of the^ Earth. 147 
doth attend the greater Scenes and the greater 
Revolutions, of Nature, ( This, niethinks, be- 
iides all other Proof from the Effeds, is very 
rational andneceflary in itfelf; for it would be 
a Limitation of the divine Power and Will fo 
to be bound up to fecond Caufes, as never to 
ufcj upon Occafion, an extraordinary Influ- 
ence or Direction : And 'tis manifeft, taking 
any Syftem of natural Caufes, if the befl pot 
(ible, that there may be more and greater 
Things done, if to this, upon certain Occa- 
fions, you join an extraordinary Condud. And 
as we have taken Notice before, that there 
was an extraordinary Providence in the For^ 
mation or Compofition of the firfi Earth, fo I 
believe there was alfo in the DiiTolution of it : 
And I think it had been impoflible for the Ark 
to have liv'd upon the raging Abyfs, or for 
Noah and his Family to have been prefcrv'd, 
if there had not been a miraculous Hand of 
l?rovidence to t^ke care of them. But 'tis hard 
to feparate and diftinguifh an ordinary and ex- 
traordinary Providence in all Cafes, and to 
mark juft how far one goes, and where the 
other begins. And writing a Theory of the 
Deluge here, as we do, we were to exhibit a 
Series of Caufes whereby it might be made 
intelligible, or to fiiew the proximate natural 
Caufes of it ; wherein we follow the Example 
both of yiofes and St. Teter ^ and with the 
fame Veneration of the divine Power and 
Wifdom in the Government of Nature, by a 
conftant ordinary Providence^ and an occa- 
(ional extraordinary. 

L 2 Sa 

148 The Theory of the E a R t h. 

So much for the Theory of the Deluge^ and 
the lecond Seftion of this Difcourfe. 

C H A P. IX'. 

The fecond Part of this- Difcourfe^ frovmg the 
fame Theory fro?n the Effects and prefent Form 
of the Earth, Firft^ by a general Scheme of 
what is moft remarkable in this Globe ^ and then 
by a more particular lndu6tion ^ beginning 
with an Account of fubterraneous Ca'vities and 
fubterraneotis Waters, 

WE have now finifli'd our Explication 
of the univerfal Deluge, and given 
an Account, not only of the PoiTibi- 
lity of it, but (fo far as our Knowledge can 
reach) of its Caufes ^ and of that Form and 
Strudture of the Earth, whereby the Old World 
was fubjed: to that fort of Fate. We have 
not beg'd any Principles or Suppofitions for the 
Proof of this ^ but taking that common Ground, 
which both yiofes and all Antiquity prefent to 
us, "viz. That this Earth rofe fro?n a Chaos : 
We have from that deduc'd, by an eafy Train 
of Confequences, what the firft Form of it 
would be ; and from that Form, as from a 
nearer Ground, we have by a fecond Train of 
Confequences made it appear, that at fome 
Time or other that firft Earth would be fubjeft 
to a Diffolution, and by that DiiTolution to a 
Deluge. And thus far we have proceeded on- 
ly by the Intuition of Caufes, as is moft pro- 
per to a Theory ,* but for the Satisfaction of 


The Deluge and DiJJolution of the Earth. 149 
thofe that require more fenfible Arguments, 
and to compleat our Proofs on either hand, 
we will now argue from the Effeds 5 and from 
the prefent State of Nature, and the prefent 
Form of the Earth, prove that it hath been 
broken, and undergone fuch a DifTolution as 
we have already defcrib'd, and made the im- 
mediate Occafion of the Deluge. And that 
we may do this more perfpicuoufly and di- 
•ftinftly, we will lay down this Propofirion to 
be prov'd, viz. That the frefent Form and Struc- 
ture of the Earthy both as to the Surface and as 
to the interior Farts ofit^ fo far as they are known 
and accejjihle to us^ doth exactly answer to our 
Theory concerning the For?n and Diffolution of the 
fir ft Earthy and cannot be explain d upon any 
other Hypothefts yet known. 

Orators and Philofophers treat Nature after 
a very different Manner ,- thofe reprefent her 
with all her Graces and Ornaments, and if there 
be any Thing that is not capable of that, they 
diflemble it, or pafs it over (lightly. But Phi- 
lofophers view Nature with a more impartial 
Eye, and without Favour or Prejudice give a 
juft and free Account, how they find all the 
Parts of the Univerfe, fome more, fome lefs 
perfed. And as to this Earth in particular, if 
1 was to defcribe it as an Orator, I would fup- 
pofe it a beautiful and regular Globe ^ and 
not only fo, but that the whole Univerfe was 
made for its fake ; that it was the Darling and 
Favourite of Heaven, that the Sun Ihin'd on- 
ly to give it Light, to ripen its Fruit, and 
make frelh its Flowers ^ and that the great 
L 3 Concave 

I JO The Theory of the E a r t h: 
Concave of the Firmament, and all the Stars 
in their feveral Orbs, were defign'd only for a 
fpangled Cabinet to keep this'Jewel in. This 
Idea I would give of it as an Orator , but a 
Philofopher that overheard me, would either 
think me in Jeft, or very injudicious, if I took 
the Earth for a Body lb regular in it felf, 
or fo confiderable, if compard with the reft 
of the Univerfe. This, he would fay, is to 
make the great World like one of the Heathen 
Temples, a beautiful and magnificent Struc- 
ture, and of the ri-cheft Materials, yet built 
only for a little brute Idol, a Dog, or a Cro- 
codile, or fome deformed Creature, plac'd in 
a Corner of it. 

We muft therefore be impartial where thq 
Truth requires it, and defcribe the Earth as it 
is really in it felf ; and though it be handfome 
and regular enough to the Eye in certain Parts 
of it, iingle Tracks and fingle Regions, yet if 
we confider the whole Surface of it, or the 
whole Exterior Region, 'tis as a broken and 
confus'd Heap of Bodies, placM in no Order to 
one another, nor with any Correfpondency or 
Regularity of Parts; And fuch a Body as the 
Moon appears to us, when 'tis look'd upon 
with a good Glafs, rude and ragged -, as it is 
alfo reprefented in the modern Maps of the 
jMoon^ fuch a Thing would the Earth appear 
if it was feen from the Moon. They are both 
in my Judgment the Image or PicSure of a 
great Ruin, and have the true Afpect of a 
World lying in its ruhhiih.See Fig- inChap, 1 1. 

Our Earth is firft divided into Sea and Land, 
without any Regularity in the Portions, either 

The Deluge a7id Diffolution of the Earth. 151' 
of the one or the other j in the Sea lie the 
Illands, Icatter'd like Limbs torn from the reft 
of the Bodyj great Rocks ftand rear'd up in 
the Wa teVsi The Promontories and Capes 
{hoot into the Sea^ and tlie Sinus's and Creeks 
on the other hand run as much into the Land ; 
and thefe without any Order or Uniformity. 
Upon the other Part of our Globe ftand great 
Heaps of Earth or Stone, which we call Moun- 
tains ; and if thefe were all plac'd together, 
they would take up a very confiderable part 
of tlie dry Land , In the reft of it are leffer 
Hills, Valleys, Plains, Lakes and Marflies, 
Sands and Defarts, C^c. and thefe alfo with- 
out any regular Difpofition. Then the Infide 
of the Earth, or inward Parts of it, are gene- 
rally broken or hollow, efpecially about the 
Mountains and high Lands, as alfo towards 
the Shores of the Sea, and among the Rocks. 
How many Holes and Caverns, and ftrange 
iubterraneous Paffages do we fee in many 
Countries ? and how many more may we eafi- 
ly imagine, that are unknown and unacceiTible 
to us ? 

This is the Pourtraidure of our Earth,drawn 
without Flattery ,- and d.s oddly as it looks, it 
will not be at all furprizing to* one that hath 
confider'd the foregoing Theory; For 'tis ma- 
nifeft enough, that upon the Dilfolution of the 
£rft Earth, and its Fall into the Abyfs, this ve- 
ry Face and Pofture of Things, which we have 
now defcrib'd, or fomething extreamly like 
it, would immediately refult. The Sea would 
be open'd, and the Face of the Globe would 

L 4 be 

1 5 2 The Theory of the Earth.' 
J)e divided into Land and Water : And accord- 
ing as the Fragments fell, fome would make 
Iflands or Rocks in the Sea^others would make 
Mountains or Plains upon the Land ; and the 
Earth would generally be full of Caverns and 
Hollownefles 5 efpecially in the mountainous 
Parts of it. And we fee the Refemblance and 
Imitation of this in leffer Ruins^when a Moun- 
tain finks and falls into fubterraneous Water ; 
or which is more obvious, when the Arch of 
a Bridge is broken, and falls into the Water, 
if the Water under it be not fo deep as to 
overflow and cover all its Parts, you may fee 
there the Image of all thefe things in little Con- 
tinents, and Iflands, and Rocks under Water : 
And in the Parts that ftand above the Water, 
you fee Mountains, and Precipices, and Plains, 
and moft of the Varieties that we fee and ad- 
mire in the Parts of the Earth. What need 
we then feek any further for the Explication 
of thefe things ? Let us fuppofe this Arch of 
the Bridge, as the great Arch of the Earth, 
which once it had, and the Water under it as 
the Abyfs, and the Parts of this Ruin to re- 
prefent the Parts of the Earth : There will be 
icarce any Difference but of leffer and greater, 
the fame things appearing in both. But we 
have naturally that Weaknefs or Prejudice, 
jhat we think great things are not to be ex- 
plain'd from eafy and familiar Inftances ; We 
think there muft be fomething difficult and o- 
perofe in the Explication of them, or elfe we 
are not fatisfied ,• whether it is that we are a- 
&amed to fee our Ignorance and Admiration 

The Deluge and Diffolution of the Earth. 153 
to have been fo groiindlefs, or whether we 
fancy there muft be a Proportion between the 
Difficulty of the Explication, and the Great- 
nefs of the thing explain'd ,• but that is a very 
falfe Judgment, for let Things be never fo 
great, if they befimple, their Explication n\uft 
be iimple and eafy : And on the contrary, fome 
things that are mean, common, and ordinary, 
may depend upon Caufes very difficult to find 
out i for the Difficulty of explaining an Etfed 
doth not depend upon its Greatnefs or Little- 
nefs, but upon the Simplicity or Compolition of 
its Caufes. And the Effecftsand Phdno?nena we 
are here to explain, though great, yet depend- 
ing upon Caufes very fimple, you mull: not 
wonder if the Explication, when found out, 
be familiar and very intelligible. 

And this is fo intelligible, and fo eafily de- 
ducible from the forementioned Caufes, that 
a Man born blind or brought up all his Life 
in a Cave, that had never leen the Face of the 
Earth, nor ever heard any Defcription ofitjmore 
than that it was a great Globe, having this 
Theory propos'd to him, or being inftrucfted 
what the Form of the firfl Earth was, how it 
flood over the Waters, and then how it was 
broke and fell into them, he would eafily of 
his own accord foretel what Changes would 
arife upon this Diffolution • and what the new 
Form of the Earth would be. As in the firft 
place he would tell you, that this lecond Earth 
would be diftinguifii'd and checkered into Land 
and Water ; for the Orb which fell being 
greater than the Circumference it fell upon, 
- ^ all 

.354 ^^^^ Theory of the Earth. 

all the Fragments could not fall flat and lie 
drown'd under Water ,• and thofe that flood 
above, would make the dry Land or habita- 
ble part of the Earth. Then in the fecond 
Place, he would plainly difcern that thefe Frag- 
ments that made the dry Land, could not lie 
all plain and fnx)oth and equal, but fome 
would be higher and fome lower, fome in one 
•Pofture and fome in another, and confequent- 
-ly would make Mountains, Hills, Valleys and 
Plains, and all other Varieties we have in the 
Situation of the Parts of the Earth. And 
laftly, a blind Man would eafily divine that 
fuch a great Ruin could not happen but there 
would be a great many Holes and Cavities 
amongft the Parts of it, a great many Inter- 
vals and empty Places in the rubbifh, as I 
may To fay^ for this we fee happens in all 
Ruins more or lefs,- and where the Fragments 
are great and hard, 'tis not polTible they fliould 
be fo adjufted in their Fall, but that they 
would lie hollow in many Places, and many 
unfiird Spaces would be intercepted am.ongfl: 
them i fome gaping in the Surface of the 
Earth, and others hid within , ib as this would 
give occafion to all forts of Fraftures and Ca- 
vities either in the Skin of the Earth, or with- 
in its Body. And thefe Cavities, that I may 
add that in the laft Place,' would be .often filfd 
with fubterraneous Waters, at leaft at fuch a 
depth 5 for the Foundations of the Earth ftand- 
ing now within the Waters, fo high as thofe 
Waters reach'd they would more or lefs pro- 
pagate themfelves every way. 


The Deluge and Diffohitionof theEctrth. 155 
Thus far our blind Man could tell us what 
the new World would be, or the Form of the 
Earth upon the great Diflblution , and we find 
his Reafonings and Inferences very true, thefe 
are the chief Lineaments and Features of our 
Earth , which appear indeed very irregular and 
very unaccountable when they are lookt upon 
naked in themfelves ; but if we look upon 
them through this Theory, we fee as in a Glafs 
all the Reafons and Caufes of them. There 
are different Genius's of Men, and different 
Conceptions, and every one is to be allow'd 
their Liberty as to things of this Nature ; I 
confefs, for my own part, when I obferve 
how eafily and naturally this Jiypothejis doth 
apply it felf to the general Face of this Earth, 
hits and falls in fo luckily and furprizingly with 
all the odd Poflures of its Parts, I cannot, 
without Violence, bear off my Mind from 
fully affenting to it : And the more odd and 
extravagant, as I may fo fay, and the more di- 
verfify'd the Effeds and Appearances are, to 
^sivhich an HyPothefif is to be apply'd, if it an- 
fwers them all and with Exaftnefs, it comes 
the nearer to a moral Certitude and Infallibi- 
lity. As a Lock that con/ifts of a great deal 
of Workmahfliip, many Wards, and many 
odd Pieces and Contrivances, if you find a 
Key that anfwers to them all, and opens it 
readily, 'tis a thoufand to one that 'tis the true 
Key, and was made for that purpofe. 

An eminent Philofopher of this Age, Mnn- 
jieur desCarte^^ hath made ufe of the like Hy- 
fothefu to explain the irregular Form of the 


1 5 6 The Theory of the E a r t h. 
prefent Earth ; though he never dream'd of 
the Deluge, nor thought that firft Orb, built 
over the Abyfs, to have been any more than a 
tranfient Cruft, and not a real habitable World 
that lafted for more than fixteen hundred Years, 
as we fuppofe it to have been. And though 
he hath, in my Opinion, in the Formation of 
that firft Orb, and upon the DifTolution of it, 
committed fome great Overfights, whereof we 
have given an Account in the Latin TreatKe^ 
C 7. (^ lib. 2. c. 4. however he faw a Necef- 
fity of fuch a Thing, and of the Difruption of 
it, to bring the Earth into that Form and Pof- 
ture wherein we now find it. 

Thus far we have fpoken in general concern- 
ing the Agreement and Congruity of our Sup- 
pofition with the prefent Face of the Earth, and 
the eafy Account it gives of the Caufes of it. And 
though I believe to ingenuous Perfons that are 
not prejudic'd by the Forms and Opinions of 
the Schools againft every thing that looks like 
a Novelty or Invention, thus much might be 
fufficient ^ yet for the Satisfadion of all, we 
will, as a farther Proof qf our Theory, or 
that part of it which concerns the Diflblution 
of the Earth, defcend to a particular Explica- 
tion of three or four of the moft confiderable 
and remarkable things that occur in the Fabrick 
of this prefent Earth, namely, The great Chan- 
nel of the Ocean ; Subterraneom Ca^vities and 
Subterra?ieom Waters ; and laftly, Motmtains 
and Rocks, Thefe are the Wonders of the 
Earth as to the vifible Frame of it j and who 
would not be pleas'd to fee a rational Account 


The Deluge and Diffolution of the Earth, lyf 
of thefe 3 of their Origirij and of their Pro- 
perties ? Or who would not approve of an 
Hyfothcfis^ when they fee that Nature in her 
greateft and ftrangefl Works may eafily be 
underftood by it, and is in no other way, that 
we know of, intelligible ? 

We will fpeak firft of fubterraneous Cavi- 
ties and Waters, becaufe they will be of ea- 
fier Difpatch, and an Introdudion to the reft. 

That the Infide of the Earth is hollow and 
broken in many Places, and is not one firm and 
united Mafs, we have both the Teftimony of 
Senfe and of eafy Obfervations to prove : How 
many Caves and Dens and hollow Paflages in- 
to the Ground do we fee in many Countries, 
efpecially amongft Mountains and Rocks , and 
fome of them endlefs and bottomlefs fo far as 
can be difcover'd ? We have many of thefe 
in our own Ifland, in Derb'jJJjire^ Sornerfetfiirey 
JValefy and other Counties, and in every Con- 
tinent or Ifland they abound more or lefs. 
Thefe HoliownefTes of the Earth the Ancients 
made Prifons, or Store-houfes for the Winds, 
and fet a God over them to confine them, or 
let them loofe at his Pleafure. For fome A^es 
after the Flood, as all Antiquity tells us, Thefe 
were the firft Houfes Men had, at leaft in fome 
Parts of the Earth ; here rude Mortals fhel- 
ter'd themfelves, as well as they could, from 
the Injuries of the Air, till they were beaten 
out by wild Beafts that took Pofleflion of 
them. The ancient Oracles alfo us'd to be 
given out of thefe Vaults and RecefTes under 
Ground, the Sibyls had their Caves, and the 


158 The Theory of the E a r t hI 
Delfhick Oracle^ and their Temples fometimes, 
were built upon an hollow Rock. Places that 
are ftrange and folemn flrike an Awe into us, 
and incline us to a kind of fuperftitious Timi- 
dity and Veneration, and therefore they thought 
them fit for the Seats and Refidences of their 
Deities, They flmcied alfo that Steams rife 
fometimes, or a fort of Vapour in thofe hol- 
low Places, that gave a kind of divine Fury or 
Infpiration. But all thefe Ufes and Employ- 
ments are now in a great meafure worn out, 
we know no Ufe of them but to make the Pla- 
ces talk'd on where they are, to be tl;e Won- 
ders of the Country, to pleafe our Curiofity 
to gaze upon and admire j but we know not 
how they came, nor to what purpofe they were 
made at firft. 

It would be very pleafant t5 read good De- 
fcriptions of thefe fubterraneous Places, and 
of all the ftrange Works of Nature there ; 
how fhe furniflieth thefe dark neglefted Grot- 
to's ,• they have often a little Brook runs mur- 
muring thro' them, and the Roof is common-^., 
ly a kind of petrefied Earth or icy Fret-work/ 
proper enough for fuch Rooms. But I fiiouid 
be pleas'd efpeciaily to view the Sea-caves, or 
thofe hollow Rocks that lie upon the Sea^ 
where the Waves roll in a great Way under 
Ground, and wear the hard Rock into as ma- 
ny odd Shapes and Figures as we fee in the 
Clouds. 'Tis pleafmt alfo to fee a River in 
the Middle of its Courfe throw itfelf into the 
Mouth of a Cave, or an Opening of the Earth, 
and run under Ground fometimes many Miles ; 


The Deluge and Dijfolntion of the Edrth. i jp 
ftill purfuing its Way thro' the dark Pipes of 
the Earth, till at laft it find an Out-let. There 
are marrj^^ of thefe Rivers taken Notice of in 
Hiftory in the feveral Parts of the Earthy as the 
Rhone in France^ Guadiana in Sfabiy and feve- 
ral in Greece^ Alpheur^ Lycus^ and Erajinus ; 
then Niger in Africa^ Tygris in /Ijia^ (^c. And 
I believe if we could turn Derwent^ or any 
other River, into one of the Holes of the Peak, 
it would groap its Way till it found an IlTue, 
it may be, in fome other County. Thefe fub- 
terraneous Rivers that emerge again, ihew us 
that the Holes of the Earth are longer and 
reach further than we imagine, and if we could 
fee into the Ground, as we ride or walk, we 
iliould be affrighted to fee fo often Waters or 
Caverns under us. 

But to return to our dry Caves 5 thefe com- 
monly ftand high) and are fometimes of a pro- 
digious Greatnefs ; Strabo [Geo, I, 16.] men-:-; 
tions fome in the Mountains towards Arabia^ 
that are capable to receive four thoufand Men 
at once. The Cave of E?2gedi [i Sa??t. 24. 3^ 
4.] hid David and fix hundred Men,'fo as 
Saul^ when he was in the Mouth of it, did 
not perceive them. In the Mountains of the 
Traco7iites there are many of thefe vaft Dens 
and RecelTes, and the People of that Country 
defended themfelves a long time in thofe ftrong 
Holds againft Herod and his Army : They are 
plac'd among fuch craggy Rocks and Precipi- 
ces, that, as ^ofefhii'S [Ant, Jud. L 14. ch, 27.] 
tells us, Herod was forced to make a fort of 
open Cheftsj and in thofe by Chains of Iron 


1^0 The Theory of the Earth; 
he let down his Soldiers from the Top of the 
Mountains to go fight them in their Dens. I 
need add no more Inftances of this Kind : In 
the natural Hiftory of all Countries, or the 
geographical Defcriptions of them, you find 
(uch Places taken notice of, more or lefs ,• yet 
if there was a good Colleftion made of the 
chief of them in feveral Parts, it misht be of 
life, and would make us more fenfible how 
broken and torn the Body of the Earth is. 

There are fubterraneous Cavities of another 
Nature, and more remarkable, which they 
cdlWolcano's^ or fiery Mountains 5* that belcfi 
out Flames and Smoke and Allies, and fome- 
times great Stones and broken Rocks, and 
Lumps of Earth, or fome metallick Mixture ,- 
and throw them to an incredible Diftance by 
the Force of the Eruption. Thefe argue great 
Vacuities in the Bowels of the Earth, and Ma- 
gazines of combuftible Matter treafur'd up in 
them. And as the Exhalations within thefe 
Places muft be copious, fo they muft lie in 
long Mines or Trains to do fo great Execution, 
and to laft fo long. 'Tis fcarce credible what 
is reported concerning fome Eruptions of f^^///- 
^m and jEtna. The Eruptions of Vefuvhis 
feem to be more frequent and lefs violent of 
late j the Flame and Smoke break out at the 
Top of the Mountain, where they have eaten 
'away the Ground and made a great Hollow, 
fo as it looks at the Top, when you ftand up- 
on the Brims of it, like an Amphitheatre^ ot 
like a great Caldron, about a Mile in Circum- 
ferencej and the burning Fiirnace -lies under it. 


The Dduge 'and Diffblution of the Earth. i6i 
The Outfide of the Mountain is aH fpread 
with Aflies^ but the Infide much more ; for 
yoii wade up to the Mid-leg in Allies to go 
down to the Bottom of the Cavity, and 'tis 
extremely heavy and troublefome to get up 
again. The Infide lies doping, and one may 
fafely go down, if it be not in a raging Fit; 
but the middle Part of it, or Center, which is 
a little rais'd like the Bottom of a Platter, is 
not to be ventur'd upon, the Ground there lies 
falfe and hollow, there it always fmoaks, and 
there the Funnel is fuppos'd to be ; yet there 
is no vifible Hole or Gaping any where when 
it doth not rage. Naples ftands below in fear 
of this fiery Mountain, which hath often co- 
verd its Streets and Palaces with its Allies ; 
and in Sight of the Sea (which lies by the 
Side of them both) and as it were in Defiance 
to it, threatens at one time or another to burn 
that fair City. Hiftory tells us, that fome 
Eruptions of Vefuvius have carry'd Cinders 
and Allies as far as Conftantinople ^ this is at- 
tefted both by Greek and Latin Authors ,• par- 
ticularly, that they were fo affrighted with 
thefe Alhes and Darknefs, that the Emperor 
left the City, and there was a Day obferv'd 
yearly for a Memorial of this Calamity or 

jEtna is of greater Fame than Veftnnm^ and 
of greater Fury, all Antiquity fpeaks of it 5 
not only the Greeks and Romans^ but as far as 
Hiftory reacheth, either real or fabulous, there 
is fomething recorded of the Fires of Mtna. 
The Figure of the Mountain is inconftant, by 

Book L M reafon 

i6it The Theory of the E a r t h. 
reafon of the great Confumptions and Ruins 
it. is fubjed: to j the Fires and iEftuations of it 
are excellently defcrib'd by Virgily upon Occa- 
{ton oijEneas s paffing by thofe Coafk. 

Horrificis juxta tonat JEtni Yuinis j 

Inter dumque atram proru?npit ad dthera tiubem^ 
Turbine fumantem piceo (^ candente favilla ; 
Attollitque globos fiainmarum (^ fydera lafnbit ; 
Interdwn fcopulos^ awlfaque 'vifcera Montis 
Erigit eru3a?is^ liqtiefaiiaque faxa fub auras 
Cum gejuitu ghmerat^ fundoque exafiuat imd 

Fa?na eji Enceladi [emujlum fulmine corpus 
Urgeri mole hac, ingentemque infuper ^tnam 
Jmpofita?n^ ruptis jlammam expirare caminis, 
Et feffuin quoties tnutet latus^ intremere omnem 
Mur?nure Trinacriam & mUim fubtexere jumo. 

-^tna, whofe Ruins make a thunder ; 

Sometimes black Clouds ofSmoak^ that r owl about 
Mingled with Flakes ojFire^ it belches out. 
And foinetimes Balls of Flame it darts on highy 
Or its torn Bowels flings into the Sky, 
Within deep Cells under the Earthy a Store 
Of Fire-jnaterials^ inolten Stones^ and Ore^ 
It gathers^ then fpews outy and gathers mor^ 

nore. ^ 

Enceladus^ when Thunder-finick by Jove, 
Was buryd here^ and JExnz thrown abo've ; 
And when^ to change his zvearied Side^ he turns ^ 
The Ifland trembles and the Mountain burns. 


The Deluge and DijJbluUon of the Earth. 1^3 
Not far from ^tna lies Stromboh^ and other 
adjacent Iflands, where there are alfo fuch Ma- 
gazines of Fire ; and throughout all Regioqs 
and Countries in the Weft-Indies and in the 
Eafty in the northern and fouthern Parts of 
the Earth, there are fome of thefe Volcano s^ 
which are fenfible Evidences that the Earth is 
incompaft and full of Cayierns j befides, the 
roarings and bellowings that ufe to be heard 
before an Eruption of thefe Volcano s^ argue 
fome dreadful Holiownefs in the Belly, or un- 
der the Koot$ of the Mountain, where tlie 
Exhalations ftryggje before rtliey can bte^k 
their Prifon. ■- 

The fubterraneous Cavities that we have 
fpoke of hitherto, are fuch as are vifible in 
the Surface of the JEarth, and break the Skin 
by fome gaping Orifice ; but the Miners and 
thofe that work under Ground meet with ma- 
ny more in the Bowels of the Earth, that ne- 
ver reach to the Top of it ; furrows and Chan- 
nels, and Clifts and Caverns, that never had 
the Comfort of one Beam of Light fince the 
great Fall of the Earth. And where we think 
the Ground is firm and folid, as upon Heaths 
and Downs, it often betrays its HoUownels^ 
by founding under the Horfes Feet and the 
Chariot-wheels that pafs over it. We do not 
know when and where we ftand upon good 
Ground, if it was examined deep enough ; 
and to make us further fenfible- of this, we 
will inftance in two Things that argue the Un- 
foundnefs and Holiownefs of the Earth in the 
inward Receflfes of it^ tho' the Surface be in- 

M 2 . tire 

^'t^4" '^^'^^ Theory of the Earth." 
'tire and unbroken j thek 3,re Earthquake.^ and 
the Communication of [uhterraiteous Waters 
'and Seas : Of which twa we will fpeak a lit- 
tle more particularly. 

'i Earthquakes ar^ too evident Demonftra- 
' 'tions of the Hollownefs of the Earth, being the 
clreadfulEffedsor Confequences of it j for if 
the Body of the Earth was found and compad, 
there would be ho fuch Thing in Nature as an 
Earthquake. They are commonly accompa- 
nied with an heavy dead Sound, like a diHl 
'^Thunder which arifeth from the Vapours that 
'are ftriving in the Womb of Nature when her 
Throws are coming upon her. And that thefe 
'Caverns where the Vapours lie are very large 
'tod capaci6us5 we - are taught fometimes by 
fad Experience ; for whole Cities and Coun- 
tries have been fwallow'd up into them, as So- 
dom and Gomorrha^ znd. the Region of Penta- 
'polisy and fe vera! Cities in Greece^ and in y^fiay 
and other Parts. Whole Iflands alfo have been 
thus abforpt in an Earthquake ; the Pillars and 
Props they flood upon being broken, they have 
funk and fain in a5 an Houfe blown up. I am 
alfo of Opinion that thofe Iflands that are 
made by Divulfion from a Continent, 2ts Sicily 
was broken off from Italy y and Great-Britain^ 
'as (bme think, from France^ have been made 
the fame Way j that is^ the Ifthmus or Necks 
of Land, that join d thefe Iflands with their 
Continents before, have been hollow, and be- 
ing either worn by the Water, or fliak'd by an 
Earthquake, have funk down, and fo made 
Way for the Sea to overflow them^ and of a 


The Deluge md Diffclution of the Earth. 1^5 
Pi'omontory to make an Ifland. For it is not 
at all likely that the Neck of Land continu'd 
(landing, and the Sea ovefflow'd it, and fo 
made an Ifland j for then all diofe Paflages be-^ 
tween fuch Iflands, and tlieir refpeftive Con- 
tinents would be extremely ftiallow and unna-^ 
vigable, which we do not find them to be. 
Nor is it any more Wonder if fuch a Neck of; 
Land fliould fall, flian that a Mountain fhould 
fink, or any other Trad of Land, and a Lake 
rife in its Place, which hath often happened. 
Tlato fuppofeth his Atlantis to have been grea- 
ter than ^y?^ and Africa together, and yet to 
have funk all into the Sea ,• whether that be 
true or no, I do not think it impoflible that 
fome Arms of the Sea or Sinus's might have 
had fuch an Original as that j and I am yery 
apt to think, that for fome Years after the. De- 
luge, till the Fragments were well fettled and 
adjufted, great Alterations would happen as to 
the Face of the Sea and the Land j many of 
thQ Fragments would change their Pofture,' 
and many would fink into the Water that 
flood out before, the Props failing that bore, 
them up, or the Joints and Corners whereby 
they lean'd upon one another : And thereupon' 
a new Face of Things would arife, and a new 
Deluge for that Part of the Earth. Such Re- 
moves and Interchanges, I believe, would of-- 
ten happen in the firft Ages after the Flood • 
as we fee in all otlier Ruins there happen lef-- 
fer and fecondary Ruins after the firft, till the 
Parts be fo well pois'd and fettled, that withr- 

M 3 . QUjt. 

i66 The Theory of the Earthc 

Out fome Violence tbey fcarce change their Po- 

liure any more. 

But to return to our Earthcjuakes, and to 
give an Inftance or two of their Extent and 
Violence : Pliny mentions one in the Reign of 
Tiberius defar that ftruck down twelve Cities 
of Jfia in one Night. And Fournier gives us 
an Account of one in Teru^ that reach' jd three 
hundred Leagues along the^ea-fliore^ and fe- 
venty Leagues In-land ; and level'd the Moun- 
tains all along as it went^ threw down the Ci- 
ties, turn'd the Rivers out of their Channels, 
and made an univerfal Havock and Confufion : 
And all this, he faith, was done within the 
$paceof feven or efight Minutes.There muft be 
dreadful Vaults and Mines under that Conti- 
nent, that gave Paflage to the Vapours, and 
Liberty to play for nine hundred Miles in 
lengthj and above two hundred in breadth. 
Afici alfo hath been very fubjed to thefe Defo- 
lations by Earthquakes 5 and many Parts in 
'Europe 2iS' Greece^ Italy ^ and others. The 
Truth is, our Cities are built upon Ruins, and 
cur Fields and Countries ftand upon broken 
Arches and Vaults, and fo does the greateft 
Part of the outward Frame of the Earth, and 
therefore it is no Wonder if it be often flia- 
ken j there being Qiiantities of Exhalations 
within thefe Mines, or cavernous PafTages, 
that are capable of Rarefadion and Inflamma- 
tion 5 and, upon fuch Occafions, requiring 
mote Room, they fliake or break the Ground 
that covers them. And thus much concerning 
- Afe- 

The Deluge and Dijfolufipn of the Earth. 'i6j 
A fecond Obfervation that argues the Hol- 
lownefs of the Earth, is the CommunicatiQn 
of the Seas and Lakes under Ground. The 
Cafpian and Mediterranean Sea,s^ and feveral 
Lakes, receive into them great Rivers, and 
yet have no vifible Out-let : Thefe muft have 
lubterraneous Out-lets, by which they empty 
themfelves, otherwife they would redound 
and overflow the Brims of their Veffeh The 
Mediterranean is moil remarkable in this Kind, 
becaufe 'tis obferv'd that at one End the i;reat 
Ocean flows into it thro' the Straits of Gibral- 
tar, with a fenfible Current, and towards the 
■other End about Conflantinople the Vontus flow^ 
down into it with a Stream lo fi:rong,that Veflels 
have much ado to ftem it ; and yet it neither 
hath any vifible Evacuation or Out-let, nor 
overflows its Banks. And befides that it is 
thus fed at either End, it is fed by the Navel 
too, as I may fo fay ^ it fucks in, by their 
Channels, feveral Rivers into its Belly, where- 
of the Nile is one very great and confiderable. 
Thefe Things have made it a great Problem, 
Wljat becomes of the JVater of the Mediterranean 
Sea ? And for my Part, I think, the Solution 
is very eafy, namely, that it is difcharg'd by 
lubterraneous PalTages, or convey'd by Chan- 
nels under the Ground into the Ocean. And 
this Manner of Difcharge or Conveyance is 
not peculiar to the Mediterranean^ but is com- 
mon to it with the Cafpan Sea, and other Seas 
and Lakes, that receive gr^at Rivers into them, 
and have no vifible Iflue. 

M 4 I know 

1158 TheTheoYyf^ftheEK^rvL. 

I'know there hav-e been propos'd feveral o- 
ther Ways to anfwer this Difficulty concerning 
the Efflwx or Confbrmption of the Waters of 
the Mediterranean ^ fome have fuppos'd a double 
Current in the Strait o[ Gibraltar^ one that carr 
ry'd the Water; in, and another that brought 
it out ; like the Arteries and Veins in our Bo- 
dy, the one exporting our Blood from the 
•Heart, and the other re-importing it : So they 
fuppos'd one Current upon the Surface, which 
rarry'd the Water into the Mediterranean^ and 
under it at a certain Depth a Counter- current, 
which brought the Water back into the Q- 
cean. But this hath neither Proof nor Founda- 
tion 5 for unlefs it. was included in Pipes, as 
our Blood is, or confided of Liquors very dif- 
ferent, thefe crofs Currents would mingle and 
deftroy one another. Others are of Opinion, 
that iall the Water that flows into the Mediter^ 
ranean^ or a Quantity equal to it, is confum'd 
in -Exhalations every Day: This feeriis to be 
a bolder Suppofition than the other ; for if fo 
nuich be' confum'd ia Vapours and Exhala- 
tions every Day as flows into this Sea, what if 
this Sea had an Otitrlet, and difcharg'd by 
that, every Day, as much as itreceiv'd? in a 
a few Days the Vapours would have confum'd 
all the reft ; and yet. we fee many Lakes that 
have as free an Out-let as an In-let, and are 
not confum'd, or fenfibly diminifh'd by the 
Vapours. Belides, this Reafon is a Summer 
Reafon, and would pafs very ill in Winter, 
when the Heat of the Sun is ,m-uch lefs power- 


The Deluge and Diffolution of the Earth. 169 
(ul : At leaft there would be a very fenfible 
Difference betwix^- the Heigjit of the Waters 
in Summer and Winter, if fo much was con- 
fum'd every Day, as this Explication fuppofeth.. 
And the Truth is, this want of a viiible Out- 
let is not a Property belonging only to the Me- 
diterranean Sea, as we noted before, but is al- 
fo in other Seas and great Lakes, fome lying 
in one Climate, and fome in another, where 
Inhere is no Reafon to fuppofe fuch exceilive 
Exhalations j and tho' 'tis true fome Rivers in 
Africk^ and in other Parts of the Earth, are 
thus exhal'd and dry!d up, without ever flow- 
ing into the Sea (as were all the Rivers in the 
/irft Earth) yet this is v/here the Sands and 
parch'd Ground fuck up a great Part of them ; 
the Heat of the Climate being exceffively 
ftrong, and the Channel of the River growing 
Ihallower by Degrees, and, it may be, divi- 
ded into lener Branches and Rivulets ,• which 
^re Caufes that take no Place here. And there- 
fore we muft return to our firft Reafon, which 
is univerfal, for all Seafons of the Year and all 
jClimates j and feeing we are affur'd that there 
are fubterraneous Channels and Paflliges, for 
Rivers often fall into the Ground, and fome^ 
times rife again, and fometimes never return ; 
why fliould we doubt to afcribe this Effect to 
fo obvious a Caufe ? Nay, I believe the very 
Ocean doth evacuate "itlelf ^ by fubterraneous 
Out-lets i for xonfidering what a prodigious 
Mafs of Water falls into it every Day from 
jthe wide Mouths of all the Rivers of the 


iyo The Theory of the E a R t h. 

Earth, it muft h^ve Out-lets proportionable • 
and thofe Syrte^ or great Whirlpools that are 
conftant in certain Parts or Sinus's of the Sea^ 
as upon the Goaft of Norway and of Italy^ 
arife probably from fubterraneous Out-lets in 
thofe Places, whereby the Water finks, and 
turns, and draws into it whatfoever comes 
within fuch a Compafs ; and if there was no 
Ifliie at the Bottom, tho' it might by contrary 
Currents turn Things round within its Sphere, 
yet there is no Reafon from that why it fhould 
luck them down to the Bottom. Neither does 
it feem improbable, that the Currents of the 
Sea are from thefe In-draughts, and that there 
is always a fubmarine In-let in fome Part of 
them, to make a Circulation of the Waters. 
But thus much for the fubterraneous Commu- 
nication of Seas and Lakes. 

And thus much in general concerning fub- 
terraneous Cavities, and concerning the hol- 
low and broken Frame of the Earth. If I had 
now Magick enough to Ihow you at one View 
all the Infide of the Earth, which we have 
imperfedly defcrib'd ,• if we could go under 
the Roots of the Mountains, and into the 
Sides of the broken Rocks ^ or could dive in- 
to the Earth with one of thofe Rivers that 
fink under Ground, and follow its Courfe and 
all its Windings till it rife again, or led us to 
the Sea, we fhould have a much ftroiiger and 
more effedual Idea of the broken Form of the 
Earth, than any we can excite by thefe faint 
Defcriptions collected from Reafon. The An- 

The Deluge and DilJolutmof the Earth, rjt 
cients I remember us'd to reprefent thefe hol- 
low Caves and fubterraneous Regions in the 
Nature of a World under Ground, and fup^ 
pos'd it inhabited by the Ny?nphs^ efpecially 
the Nymphs of the Waters and the Sea-God- 
defles ; fo Orpheus fung of old j and in Imita- 
tion of him Virgil hath made a Defcription of 
thofe Regions ; feigning the Nymph Cyrene to 
fend for her Son to come down to her, and 
make her a Vilit in thofe Shades where Mortals 
were not admitted. 

Due age^ due ad nos^ fas illi limina Di'vujn 
Tangere^ ait : Simul aha jubet difiedere late 
Tlwnina^ qua jwvenis greffus inferret^ at ilium 
Cur'vata in jnontis jaciein circu?nftitit unda^ 
Accepitque finu 'vajh^ :nifitque jtib aimmiu 
Ja??iq; domum mirans Genetricis (^ humida regna^ 
Speluncifque lacos claufos^ lucofque fonantesy 
Ibaty (^ i?igenti viotu Jiupefattus aquarum 
Omnia fub magna labentia flumina terra 
Spe^iabaidiverja locis; Thafimque Licumque^ 8cc. 
Et Thalami matris pendentia pumice teita^ &c. 


Come lead the Touth below^ bring him tome^ 
The Gods are pleas'* d our Manfions hejloould fee ; 
Streightflje commands the Floods to make him Wayy 
They open their wide Bofom and obey j 
Soft is the Fathy and eafy is his Tread^ 
A watry Arch bends o'er his dewy Head j 
And as he goes he wonder s^ and looks rounds 
Tq fee this new-found Ki?igdom under Ground. 


\-ji The Theory of the Earth. 
The filent Lakes in hollow Caves he fees^ 
And on their Banks an echoing Grove of Trees i^\ 
The Fall of Waters 'mongft the Rocks below : 
Trie hears^ and fees. the Rivers how they flow : . 
All the great Rivers of the Earth are there^ . 
Treparcl^ as in dWoinb^ by Nature's Care, 
■J^ap^ to his Mothers Bed-chamber he's brought. 
Where the high Roof with Pumice-Jione is 

(wrought^ &c. 

If we now could open the Earth as this 
JSIy7?tph did the Water^ and go down into the 
Bofom of it y fee all the dark Chambers and 
Apartments there, how ill contriv'd, and how 
ill kept ', fo many Holes and Corners, fome 
fiird with Smoak and Fire^ fome with Water, 
and fome with Vapours and mouldy Air ^ how 
like a Ruin it lies gaping and torn in the Parts 
of it 'y We fliould not eafily believe that God 
created it into this Form immediately out of 
nothing : It would have coft no more to have 
majde Things ip be.tter Order , nay, it had 
been more eafy and more fimple ; and accord* 
ingly we are aflured that all Things were 
made at iirft in Beauty and Proportion. And 
if we confider Nature and the Manner of the, 
firft Formation of the Earth, 'tis evident that 
there could be no fuch Holes and Caverns, nor 
broken Pieces, made then in the Body of it ,- 
for the grolTer Parts of the Chaos falling down 
towards the Center, they would there com- 
pofe a Mafs of Earth uniform and compad, 
the Water fwimming above it \ and this fir ft 


T he Deluge and Dljjolutibn of the Earth, ijj 
Mafs under the Water could have no Caverns 
or Vacuities in it y for if it had any, the earthy 
Parts, while the Mafs was liquid or femi-li- 
quid, would have funk into them and fill'd 
them up, expelling the Air or Water that was 
there , and when afterwards there came to be 
a Cruft or new Earth form'd upon the Face of 
the Waters, there could be no Cavities, no 
Dens, no Fragments in it, no more than in the 
other ; and for the fmie general Reafon, that 
is^ paifing frohi a liquid Form into a concrete 
or folid, leafUrely and by degrees, it u^ouJd 
flow and fettle together in an entire Mafs; 
there being 'nothing broken, nor any Thing 
hard, to bear the Parts off from one another, 
or to intercept any empty Spaces between 

^ ''^^ *Tfs rnariifeft then that the Earth could not 
be in this cavernous Form originally, by any 
Work of Nature i, nor by any immediate 
Adtion of God, feeing "there is neither Ufe 
nor Beauty in this kind of Conftrudion. Do 
we not then, 'a's;reafonably, as aptly, afcribe 
it to that Defolation that was brought upon 
the Earth in the general Deluge , when its 
outward Frame was diffolv'd and fell into the 
great Abyfs ? How eafily doth this anfwer all 
^that we have obferv'd concerning the fubter- 
raneous Regions ? That hollow and broken 
Pofture of Things under Ground, all thofe 
Caves and Holes, and blind Receffes, that are 
otherwife fo unaccountable, fay but that they 
are a Rtii?ty and you have in one Word ex- 

i74 The Theory of the E A r t k. 
plain'd them all. For there is no fort of Ga- 
^vities, interior or exterior, great or little, o- 
pen or fliut, wet or dry, of what Form or 
Fafiiion foever, but we might reafonably ex- 
ped them in a Ruin of that Nature. And as 
for the fubterraneous Waters, feeing the Earth 
fell into the Abyfs, the Pillars and Founda- 
tions of the prefent ( exterior ) Earth muft 
iland immers a in Water, and therefore at fuch 
a Depth from the Surface every where, there 
jnuft be Water found, if the Soil be of a Na- 
ture to admit it. 'Tis true, all fubterraneous 
Waters do not proceed from this Original, for 
joiany of them are the Effects of Raiiis and 
melted Snows funk into the Earth ; but that 
in digging any where you conftantly come to 
Water at length, even in the moft folid Ground, 
-this cannot proceed from thefe Rains or Snows, 
but muft come from below, and from a Caufe 
as general astheEffeft is; which can be noo- 
ther in my Judgment than this, that the Roots 
of the exterior Earth ftand within the old A- 
byfs, whereof, as a great Part lies open in the 
Sea, fo the reft lies hid and cover d among 
the Fragments of the Earth ; fometimes dil- 
per.s'd and only moiftning the Parts, as our 
Blood lies in the Flefli, and in the Habit of 
the Body j fometimes in greater or leffer Maf- 
r(es^ as the Blood in our Veflels. And this 1 
take to be the true Account of fubterraneous 
Waters as diftinguifli'd from Fountains and 
Rivers, and from the Matter and Caufes of 


The Deluge and DijfoMonof the Earth. 175 
Thus much we have fpoke to give a gene- 
ral Idea of the inward Parts of tl:^ Earth, and 
an eafy Explication of them by our Hypothecs; 
which whether it be true or no, if you com- 
pare it impartially with Nature, you will con- 
fefs at leaft, that all thefe thirds are juft in 
fuch a Form and Pofture as if it was true. 

Chap. X. 

Concerning the Channel of theSea^ and the Chi- 
ginal of it ; The Caufes of its irregular Form 
and unequal Depths : As aljo of the Oiigmal 
of ljla?ias^ their Situation and other Proper- 

WE have hitherto given an Account of 
the fubterraneous Regions, and of 
their general Form; We now come 
tlbove Ground to view the Surface of the 
Globe, which we find Terraqueous^ or divided 
into Sea and Land: Thefe we muft furvey, 
and what is remarkable in them as to their 
Frame and Strudure, we muft give an Ac- 
count of from our Hypothefis^ and fbew to be 
unaccountable from any other yet known. 

As for the Ocean, there are two things con- 
fiderable in it, the Water and the Channel 
that contains it. The Water no doubt is as 
ancient as the Earth and cotemporary with it, 
and we fuppofe it to be Part of the great A- 
byfs wherein the World was drown 'd ; the 
reft lying cover'd under the hollow Fragments 
of Continents and Iflands. But that is not fo 


ij6 The Theory of the Earth; 
much the Subjeft of our prefent Difcourfe as 
the Channel of the Ocean^ that vaft and prcP- 
digious Cavity that runs quite round the Globe, 
and reacheth, for ought we know, from Polfe 
to Pole, and in many Places is unfearchably 
deep : When I prefent this great Gulf to my 
Imagination, emptied of all its Waters^ ria- 
ked and gaping at the Sun, ftretching its Jaws 
from one End of the Earth to another, it ap- 
pears to me the moft ghaftly thing in Nature. 
What Hatids or Inftrument^ could work a 
Trench in the Body of the Earth of this vaft- 
nefs, and lay Mountains and Rocks on the fide 
of it, as Raniparts to encloffe it ? 

But as we juftly admire its Greatnefs, fo we 
cannot at all admire its Beauty or Elegancy, 
for 'tis as deform'd atid irregular as it is great. 
And there appearing nothing of Order or any 
regular Defign in its Parts, it fcems reafonable 
to believe that it was not the Work of Na- 
ture, according to her fii'ft Intention, or ac- 
cording to the firft Model that was drawn in 
Meafure and Proportion by the Line and by 
the Plummet, but a fecondary Work, and the 
beft that could be made of broken Materials. 
And upon this Siippofition 'tis eafy to imagine, 
how upon the Diflblucion of the Primseval 
Earth the Channel of the Sea was made, or 
that huge Cavity that lies between the feve- 
ral Continents of the Earth ,• which Ihall be 
more particularly explain'd after we have 
view'd a little better the Form of it, and the 
Iflands that lie fcatter'd by its Shores. 


The Deluge and Diffohnion of the Earth. 177 
There is no Cavity in the Earth, whether 
open or fubterraneous, that is comparably fo 
great as that of the Ocean, nor would any 
appear of that Deforanity if we could fee it 
empty. The Infide of a Cave is rough and 
unfightly ; the Beds of great Rivers and great 
Lakes when they are laid dry, look very raw 
and rude . the Valleys of the Earth, if they 
were naked, without Trees and without Grafs, 
nothing but bare Ground and bare Stones^ 
from the tops of their Mountains, would have 
a ghaftly Afpeft j but the Sea-Channel is the 
Complex of all thefe ; here Caves, empty 
Lakes, naked Valleys are reprefented as in 
their Original, or rather far exceeded and out- 
done as to all their Irregularities ; for the Ca- 
vity of the Ocean is univerllilly irregular, both 
as to the Shores and Borders of it; as to the 
uncertain Breadth and the uncertain Depth of 
its feveral Parts, and as to its Ground and 
Bottom and the whole Mould : If the Sea 
had been drawn round the Earth in regular 
Figures and Borders, it might have been a 
great Beauty to our Globe, and we fiiould 
reafonably have concluded it a Work of the 
firft Creation, or of Nature's firft Produdion ; 
but finding on the contrary all the Marks of 
Diforder and Difproportion in it, we may as 
reafonably conclude, that it did not belong to 
the firft Order of Things, but was fomething 
fuccedaneous, when the Degeneracy of Man- 
kind,and the Judgments of God had deiflroy'd 
the firft World, and fubjeded the Creation to 
fome kind of Vanity, 

Book I. N Nor 

178 The Theory of the Earth. 

Korean it eafilybe imagin'd, if the Sea had 
been always, and the Earth, in this Terraque- 
0146 Form, broke into Continents and Illands, 
how Mankind could have been propagated at 
firft through the Face of the Earth, all from one 
Head and from one Place. For Navigation 
was not then known, at leaft as to the grand 
Ocean, or to pafs from Continent to Conti- 
nent y and I believe, NoaVs Ark was the jfirft 
Ship, or VefTel of Bulk, that ever was built 
in the World ,- how could then the Pofterity 
of Adam overflow the Earth, and ftock the 
feveral Parts of the World, if they had been 
diftant or feparate then, as they are now, by 
the Interpofal of the great Ocean ? But this^ 
Confideration we will infift upon more largely 
in another Placej let us refled: upon the Irre- 
gularities of the Sea-Channel again, and the 
poflible Caufes of it. 

If we could imagine the Channel of the Sea 
to have been made as we may imagine the 
Channel of Rivers to* have been, by long and 
infenfible Attrition, the Water wearing by 
degrees the Ground under it, by the Force it 
hath from its Defcent and Coude, we fliould 
not wonder at its irregular Form ,• but 'tis not 
poffible this Channel fhould have had any fuch 
Original ^ whence ihould its Water have de- 
fended, from what Mountains, or from what 
Clouds ? Where is the Spring-head of the Sea ? 
What Force could eat away half the Surface 
of the Earth, and wear it hollow to an im- 
meafurable Depth ? This muft not be from 
feeble and lingring Caufes, fuch as the Attri- 

The Deluge and Diffoliiticn of the Earth, i*j9 
tion of Waters, but from fome great Violence 
offer'd to Nature, fuch as we fuppofe to have 
been in the general Deluge^when the Frame of 
the Earth was broken. And after we have a 
little fur vey'd the Sea-Coaft, and, fo far as we 
can, the Form of the Sea-Channel, we fhall 
the more eafily believe that they could have 
no other Original than what we aflign. 

The Shores and Coafts of the Sea are no 
way equal or uniform, but go in a Line un- 
certainly crooked and broke ; indented and 
jag'd as a thing torn, as you may fee in the 
Maps of the Coafts and the Sea-charts,- and 
yet there are innumerable more Inequalities 
than are taken Notice of in thofe Draughts j 
for they only mark the greater Promontories 
and Bays ; but there are befides thofe a Multi- 
tude of Creeks and Out-lets, Necks of Land 
and Angles, which break the Evennefs of the 
Shore in all manner of Ways. Then the 
Meight and Level of the Shore is as uncertain 
as the Line of it ,• 'tis fometimes high and low , fometimes fpread in fandy 
Plains, as fmxooth as the Sea it felf, and of 
fuch an equal Height with it, that the Waves 
feem to have no Bounds but the meer Figure 
and Convexity of the Globe ^ in other Places 
'tis rais'd into Banks and Ramparts of Earth, 
and in others 'tis wall'd in with Rocks ,• and all 
this without any Order that we can obferve,or 
any other Reafon than that this is what might 
be expeifted in a Ruin. 

As to the Depths and Soundings of the Sea, 
they are Under no Rule nor Equality any more 

N 2 than 

1 8o The Theory of the Earth. 
than the Figures of the Shores ; Shallows in 
fome Places, and Gulphs in others ; Beds of 
Sands fometimes, and fometimes Rocks under 
Water ; as Navigators have learn'd by a long 
and dangerous Experience : And tho' we that 
are upon dry Land, are not much concern'd 
how the Rocks and the Shelves lie in the Sea, 
yet a poor Shipwreckt-Mariner, when he hath 
run his VelTel upon a Rock in the middle of 
the Channel, expoftulates bitterly with Na- 
ture, who it was that plac'd that Rock there, 
and to what purpofe ? Was there not Room 
enough, faith he, upon the Land, or the Shore, 
to lay your great Stones, but they muft be 
thrown into the middle of the Sea, as it were 
in fpite to Navigation? The beft Apology 
that can be made for Nature in this Cafe, fo 
far as 1 know, is to confefs that the whole Bu- 
finefs of the Sea-Channel is but a Ruin, and 
in a Ruin Things tumble uncertainly, and com- 
monly lie in Confufion : Though to fpeak the 
Truth, it feldom happens, unlefs in narrow 
Seas, that Rocks or Banks or Iflands lie in the 
middle of them, or very far from the Shores. 

Having view'd the more vifible Parts of the 
Channel of the Sea, Vv''e muft now defcend to 
the bottom of it, and fee the Form and Con- 
trivance of that , butvvho fliall guide us in 
our Journey, while we walk, as Job faith. 
Chap, 3 8. 1 6. in the fearch of the Deep ? Or 
: who can make a Defcription of that which 
none hath feen ? It is reafonable to believe, 
that the 'bottom of the Sea is much more rug- 
ged, broken and irregular than the face of the 
-. -t ' ' Land. 

The Deluge and Difjolution of the Earth. i8i 
Land. There are Mountains, and Valleys, 
and Rocks, and Ridges of Rocks, and all the 
common Inequalities we fee upon Land, be- 
fide thefe, 'tis very likely there are Caves un- 
der AVater, and hollow PafTages into the Bow- 
els of the Earth, by which the Seas circulate 
and communicate one with another, and with 
fubterraneous Waters ; thofe great Eddees and 
inhmowsSyrtes and Whirpools that are in fome 
Seas, as the Baltick and the Mediterranean^ 
that fuck into them and overwhelm whatever 
comes within their reach, fiiow that there is 
fomething below that fucks from them in Pro- 
portion, and that drinks up the Sea as the Sea 
drinks up the Rivers. We ought alfo to ima- 
gine the Shores within the Water to go in- 
clin'd and floping, but with great Inequality j 
there are many Shelves in the way, and Cham- 
bers, and fiiarp Angles^ and many broken 
Rocks and great Stones lie rolled down to the 

'Tis true thefe things affed us little, becaufe 
they are not expos'd to our Senfes j and we 
feldom give our felves the trouble to colleft 
from Reafon what the Form of the invifible 
and inaceflible Parts of the Earth isj or if we 
do fometimes, thofe Ideas are faint and weak, 
and make no Lifting ImprefTion upon our Imagi- 
nation and Paflions ; but if we fhould fuppofe 
the Ocean dry, and that we lookt down from 
the Top of fome high Cloud upon the empty 
Shell, how horridly and barbaroufly would it 
look ? And with what Amazement fhould we 
fee it under us like an open Hell, or a wide 

N 3 bottomlefs 

iSs The Theory of the Earth. 
bottomlefs Pit? So deep^and hollow, and vaft; 
fo broken and confas'd, fo every way deform'd 
and monftrous. This would effeftually waken 
our Imagination, and make us enquire and 
wonder how fuch a thing came in Nature ^ 
from what Caufes^ by what Force or Engines 
could the Earth be torn in this prodigious man- 
ner ? Did they dig the Sea with Spades, and 
carry out the Molds in Hand-baskets ? Where 
are the Entrails laid ? and how did they cleave 
the Rocks afunder ? If as many Pioneers as the 
Army of Xerxes had been at Work ever fince 
the Beginning of the World, they could not 
have made a Ditch of this Greatnefs. Nor is 
it the Greatnefs only, but that wild and mul- 
tifarious Confufion which we fee in the Parts 
and Fafiiion of it, that makes it ftrange and 
unaccountable ^ 'tis another Chaos in its kind, 
who can paint the Scenes of it ? Gulfs, and 
Precipices, and Catarads ; Pits within Pits, 
and Rocks under Rocks, broken Mountains 
and ragged Iflands, that look as if they had 
been Countries puU'd up by the Roots, and 
planted in the Sea. 

If we could make true and full Reprefenta- 
tionsof thefe things to our felves, I think we 
fhould not be fo bold as to make them the 
immediate Produd of Divine Omnipotence j 
being deftitute of all Appearance of Art or 
Counfel. The firft Orders of things are m.ore 
perfed: and regular j and this Decorum feems 
to be obferv'd, that Nature doth not fall into 
Diforder till Mankind be firft degenerate and 
leads the way, Monfters have been often 


The Deluge and DiJJblution of the Earth. 1 83 
made an Argument againft Providence ; if 
a Calf have two Heads, or Rve Legs, 
ftreight there muft not be a God in Heaven, 
or at leaft not upon Earth ; and yet this is but 
a Chance that happens once in many Years, 
and is of no Confequence at all to the reft of 
the World : But if we make the ftanding 
Frame of Nature monftrous, or deform'd and 
difproportion'd, and to have been fo not by 
Corruption and Degeneracy, but immediately 
by divine Creation or Formation, it would not 
be fo eafy to anfwer that Objedion againft Pro- 
vidence. Let us therefore prevent this Impu- 
tation ; and fuppofing, according to our Theo- 
ry, that thefe Things were not originally thus, 
let us now explain more diftindly how they 
came to pafs at the Deluge, or upon the DifTo- 
lution of the firft Earth. 

And we will not content our felves with a 
general Anfwer to thefe Obfervations concern- 
ing the Sea-channel, as if it was a fufficient 
Account of them to fay they were the Effecfts 
of a Ruin ,• there are other things to be'confi- 
der'd and explained befide this Irregularity, as 
the vaft HoUownefs of this Cavity, bigger in- 
comparably than any other belonging to the 
Earth -, and alfo the Declivity of the Sides of 
it, which lie fhelving from Top to Bottom: 
For notwithftanding all the Inequalities we 
have taken notice of in the Channel of the 
Sea, it hath one general Form, which may, 
tho' under many Differences , be obferv'd 
throughout, and that is, that the Shores and 
Sides witiiin the Water lie inclin d, and you 

N 4 defcend 

J 84 The TheoY-j of the E a r t k. 
defcend by degrees to the deepeft Part, which 
is towards the Middle. This, I know, admits 
of many Exceptions ; for fometimes upon a 
rocky Shore, or among rocky Iflandsthe Sea is 
very deep clofe to the Rocks, and the deeper 
(:ommonly the higher and fteeper the Rocks 
are. Alfo where the Defcent is more leifure- 
ly, 'tis often after a different manner, in fome 
Coafts more equal and uniform, in others 
more broken and interrupted^ but ftill there is 
a Defcent to the Channel or deepeft Part, and 
this in the deep Ocean is fathomlefs -, and fuch 
a deep Ocean,- and fuch a deep Channel there 
is always between Continents. This, I think, 
is a Property as determinate as any we can 
pitch upon in the Channel of the Sea, and with 
thofe other two mentioned ; its vaft Cavity, 
and univerfal Irregularity, is all one can defire 
an Account of as to the Form of it ; we will 
therefore frorn this Ground take our Rife and 
firft Meafures for the Explication of the Sea- 

Let us fuppofe then in the Diflfolution of 
the Earth when it began to flill, that it was 
divided only into three or four Fragments, ac- 
(cording to the Number of our Continents , but 
thofe Fragments being vaftly great, could not 
defcend, at their full Breadth and Expanfion, 
pr at leaft could not defcend fo faft in the Mid- 
dle as towards the Extremities ; becaufe the 
Air about the Edges would yield and give 
Place eafily, not having far to go to get out of 
the Way ; but the Air that \v:s under the 
IVliddle of the Fragment could not without a 



y ..y./<y/ 

f^, } 

'"'f^..: ^y^^ 

The Deltige and Dijjolution of the Earth. 185 
very fwift Motion get from under the Con- 
cave of it, and confeqiiently its Defcent there 
would be more refifted and fufpended ; but 
the Sides in the mean time would continually 
defcend, bending the Fragment with their 
Weight, and fo making it of a lefTer Compafs 
and Hxpanfon than it was before : And by this 
Means there would be an Interval and Di- 
ftance made between the two falling Frag- 
ments, and a good Part of the Abyfs, after 
their Defcent,would lie uncovered in theMiddle 
betwixt them ,♦ as may be feen in the annex'd 
Figure, where the Fragments A. B. bending 
downwards in their Extremities, feparate as 
they go, and after they are fain, leave a good 
Space in the Abyfs betwixt them altogether 
uncover'd : This Space is the main Channel of 
the great Ocean,lying betwixt two Continents ; 
and the inclining Sides fhew the Declivity of 
the Shores. 

This we have reprefented here only in a 
Ring or Circle of the Earth, in the iirft Fi- 
gure { but it may be better reprefented in a 
broader Surface, as in the fecond Figure, 
where the two Fragments A. B. that are to 
make the two oppofite Continents, fall in like 
double Doors, opening downwards, the Hin- 
ges being towards the Land on either Side, fo 
as at the Bottom they leave in the Middle be- 
twixt them a deep Channel of Water, a. a, a. 
fuch as is betwixt all Continents j and the 
Water reaching a good Height upon the Land 
on either Side, makes Sea tliere too, but flial- 


iS6 The Theory of the Ear t h. 

lower, and by degrees you defcend into the 
deepeft Channel. 

This gives an Account of two Things that 
we mention'd to be confider'd and explain'd 
as to the Sea, how the great Cavity of its 
Channel was made, and how it was made 
in that general Form of Declivity in its Sides 
from the Land : The third Thing was the Ir- 
regularities of it, both as to its various Depths, 
and as to the Form of the Shores and of the 
Bottom. And this is as eafily and naturally 
explain'd from the fame Suppolition as the for- 
mer two 5 for tho' we have hitherto reprefent- 
ed the Fragments A. B. as even and regular af- 
ter their Fall, becaufe that was moft fimple, 
and there was no occafion then to reprefent 
them otherwife, yet we muft fuppofe, that as 
foon as in their Fall they hit upon the Top or 
Bottom of the.Abyfs, that great Force and 
Weight with which they defcended broke off 
all the Edges and Extremities, and fo made 
innumerable Ruptures and Inequalities in the 
Shores, and as many within the Sea, and at 
the Bottom , where the broken Rocks and 
Lumps of Earth would lie in all imaginable 
Diforder ; as you may conceive from the third 
Figure. For when the Motion came on a fud- 
den to be obftruded, the Load of the Frag- 
ment ftill prefling it forwards, fuch a Concuf- 
fion arofe as made thoufands of leflfer Frag- 
ments, of all Shapes and Magnitudes, and in 
all Poftures and Forms, and moft of them ir- 
regular. And by thefe Fractions and feconda- 


The Deluge and Diffoltttionoj the Earth. 187 
ry Ruins the Line of the Shores was broken, 
and the Level of them too : In fome Places 
they would fland high, in others low, fome- 
tinies rough, and fometimes even, and gene-» 
rally crooked, with Angles and In-lets, and 
uncertain Windings. The Bottom alfo by 
the fame Stroke was diverfify'd into all Man- 
ner of Forms, fometimes rocky with Pits and 
Gulfs, and fometimes fpread in plain Beds, 
fometimes ihallow, and fometimes deep ; for 
thofe Differences would depend only upon the 
Situation of the fecondary Fragments ; and fo 
it might com.e to pafs, that fome Places near 
the Shore might be exceffive deep when a Rock 
or Rocks flood in a fteep Pofture, as (Figure 3.) 
b. b, b\ and, on the contrary, fometimes Places 
much more advanced into the Ocean, -might 
be lefs deep, where a Fragment of Earth lay 
under Water, or one bore up another, as c. c. f . 
but thefe Cafes would not be very frequent. 
To conclude. There are no Properties of the 
Sea-channel, that I know of, nor Differences 
or Irregularities in the Form of it, which this 
Hypothefis doth not give a fair Account of: And 
having thus far open'd the Way, and laid down 
the general Grounds for their Explication, 
other things that are more minute, we leave 
to the Curiofity of particular Genius's ; being 
unwilling to clog the Theory at firft with 
things that may feem unneceffary. We pro- 
ceed now to the Confideration of Iflands. 

We mufi: in the firft Place diftinguifli be- 
tween Orighial Iflands and Factitious Iflands : 
Thofe I call faditious, that are not of the fame 
i _ Date 

1 88 The' Theory of the Earth. 
Date and Antiquity with the Sea, but have 
been made lorne at one time, fome at ano- 
ther, by accidental Caufes, as the Aggeftion 
of Sands and Sand-beds, or the Sea leaving 
the Tops of fome fliallow Places that lie high^ 
and yet flowing about the lower Skirts of 
them y thefe make fandy and plain Iflands, 
that have no high Land in them, and are but 
Mock-Iflands in effeft. Others are made by 
Divulfion from fome Continent, when an Ifth- 
mus, or the Neck of a Promontory running in- 
to the Sea, finks or falls in, by an Earthquake 
or otherwife, and the Sea entring in at the 
Gap paffeth through, and makes that Promon- 
tory or Country become an Ifland. Thus the 
Ifland Sicily is fuppos'd to have been made, and 
all Africa might be an Ifland, if the Ifthmus 
between the Mediterranean and the red Sea 
fiiould fink down. And thefe Iflands may have 
Rocks and Mountains in them, if the Land 
had fo before. Laftly, There are Iflands that 
have been faid to rife from the Bottom of the 
Sea ; Hiftory mentions fuch in both the Archi- 
pelago's^ Mg(£an and Indian ; and this feems 
to argue that there are great Fragments or 
Trafts of Earth that lie loofe at the Bottom of 
the Sea, or that are not incorporated with the 
Ground ; which agrees very well with our 
Explication of the Sea-channel. 

But befide thefe Iflands^ and the feveral 
Sorts of them, there are others which I call 
Original , becaufe they could not be produc'd 
in any of the forementiorjed Ways, but are of 
the fame Origin and Antiquity with the Chan- 

The Deluge and Difjohition of the Earth. i8p 
nel.of the Sea ; and fuch are the Generality of 
our Iflands , they were not made of Heaps of 
Sands, nor torn from any Continent, but are 
as ancient as the Continents themfelves, name- 
ly, ever fince the Deluge, the common Parent 
of them both. Nor is there any Difficulty to 
iinderftand how Iflands were made at the Dif- 
folution of the Earth, any more tha-n how 
Continents were made ; for Iflands are but lef- 
fer Continents, or Continents greater Iflands ^ 
and according as Continents were made of 
greater Manes ot Earth, or greater Fragments 
itanding above the Water, fo Iflands were 
made of lefs, but fo big always, and in fuch a 
Pofture, as to bear their Tops above the Wa- 
ter. Yet tho' they agree thus far, there is a 
particular Difference to be taken notice of as 
to their Origin j for the Continents were made 
of thofe three or four primary Mafles into 
which the falling Orb of the Earth was divi- 
ded, but the Iflands were made of the Frac- 
tures of thefe, and broken off by the Fall from 
the Skirts and Extremities of the Continents.: 
We noted before, that when thofe great Maf- 
fes and primary Fragments came to dafli upon 
the Abyfs in their Fall, the fudden Stop of the 
Motion, and the weighty Bulk of the defcend- 
ing Fragment broke off all the Edges and Ex- 
tremities of it, which Edges and Extremi- 
ties broken off made the Iflands j and ac- 
cordingly we fee that they generally lie feat- 
ter'd along the Sides of the Continents, and 
are but Splinters, as it were, of thofe greater 
Bodies. 'Tis true, bei:de thefe, there were 


1 po The Theory of the E a r t h. 
an infinite Number of other Pieces broke off 
that do not appear, fonie making Rocks under 
Water, fome Shallows and Banks in the Sea '; 
but the greateft of them when they fell either 
one upon another, or in fuch a Pofture as to 
prop up one another, their Heads and higher 
Parts would ftand out of the Water and niake 

Thus I conceive the Iflands of the Sea werie 
at firft produc'd ; we cannot wonder therefore 
that they fliould be fo numerous, or far more 
numerous than the Continents ,• thefe are the 
Parents, and thofe are the Children , nor can 
we wonder to fee along the Sides of the Con- 
tinents feveral Iflands or Sets of Iflands, fown, 
as it were, by Handfuls, or laid in Trains j 
for the Manner of their Generation would lead 
us to think they would be fo plac'd. So the 
jimerican Iflands lie fcatter'd upon the Coafl: 
of that Continent j the Maldhian and Philips 
fine upon the Eaji-Indian Shore, and the Hef- 
perides upon the Afrkk j and there feldom hap- 
pen to be any towards the Middle of the O- 
cean, tho', by an Accident, that alfo m.ight 
come to pafs. Lafl:ly, It fuits very well with 
our Explication, that there fliould be Moun- 
tains and Rocks, fometimes in Clufl:ers, fome- 
times in long Chains, in ail Iflands j (as we 
find there are in all that are true and original) 
for 'tis that makes them high enough to appear 
above the Water, and flrong enough to con- 
tinue and preferve themfelves in that high Si- 


The Deluge and Diffohition of the Earth, ipi 
And thus much may fuffice for a fummary 
Explication of the Caiifes of the Sea-channel 
and Iflands, according to our Hypothefiu 

Chap. XL 

Concerning the Mountains of the Earthy therr 
Greatnefi and irregular Form^ their Situation^ 
Caufes^ and Origin. 

WE have been in the Hollows of the 
Earth , and the Chambers of the 
Deep 5 amongft the Damps and 
Steams of thofe lower Regions ; let us now 
go air our felves on the Tops of the Moun- 
tains, where we fliall have a more free and 
large Horizon , and quite another Face of 
Things will prefent itfelf to our Obfervation* 
. The greateft Objeds of Nature are, me- 
thinks, the moft pleafing to behold -, and next 
to the great Concave of the Heavens^ and 
thofe boundlefs Regions where the Stars 
inhabit^ there is nothing that I look upon with 
more Pleafure than the wide Sea and the 
Mountains of the Earth. There is fomething 
auguft and ftately in the Air of thefe things, 
that infpires the Mind with great Thoughts 
and Paflions j we do naturally, upon (uch Oc- 
cafions, think of God and his Greatnefs : And 
whatfoever hath but the Shadow and Appear- 
ance of INFINITE^' as all Things have 
that are too big for our Comprehenfion, they 
fill and over-bear the Mind with their Excefs, 


ipi The Theory of the E a r t h^ 

and caft it into a plealing kind of Stupor and 


And yet thefe Mountains we are fpeaking 
of, to confefs the Truth, are nothing but great 
Ruins 5 but fuch as fhow a certain Magnifi- 
cence in Nature j as from old Temples and 
broken Amphitheatres of the Romans we cot- 
led the Greatnefs of that People. But the 
Grandeur of a Nation is lefs fenlible to thofe 
that never fee the Remains and Monuments 
they have left; and thofe who never fee the 
mountainous Parts of the Earthy Icarce ever re- 
flect upon the Caufesof thera, or what Power 
in Nature could be fufficient to produce them. 
The Truth is,the Generality of People have not 
Senfe and Curiofity enough to raife a Queftion 
concerning thele things, or concerning the O- 
riginal of them. You may tell them that 
Mountains grow out of the Earth like Fuzz- 
balls, or that there are Monfters under Ground, 
that throw up Mountains as Moies do Mole- 
hills 5 they will fcarce raife one Objecftion a- 
gainft your Dodrine. Or if you would appear 
more Learned, tell them that the Earth is a 
great Animal, and thefe are Wens that grow 
upon its Body ; this would pafs current for 
Philofophy ; fo much is the World drown'd in 
Stupidity and fenfual Pleafures, and fo little in- 
quiiirive into the Works of God and Nature. 

There is nothing doth more awaken our 
Thoughts, or excite our Minds to enquire in- 
to the'Caufes of fuch Things, than the adual 
View of them ; as I have had Experience my 
felfj when it was my Fortune to crofs the Alys 


The Deluge and Diffohmon of the Earth. 195 

and //p/>f;/w/w^ Mountains i for the Sight ofthofe 
wild, vaft and indigefted Heaps of Stones and 
Earthjdid lo deeply ftrike my Fancy, that I was 
not ealy till I could give my felf lome tolera- 
ble Account how that Confufion came in Na- 
ture. 'Tistrue, the height of Mountainscom- 
par'd with the Diameter of the Earth is not 
confiderable, but the Extent of them and the 
Ground they ftand upon, bears a conliderable 
Proportion to the Surface of the Earth j and 
if from Enrofe we may take our Mealures for 
the reft, I eafily believe, that the Mountains 
do at leaft take up the tenth Part of the dry 
Land. The Geographers are not very care- 
ful to deicribe or note in their Charts the 
Multitude or Situation of Mountains j They 
mark the Bounds of Countries, the Site of 
Cities and Town?, and the Courfe of Rivers, 
becaufe thefe are Things of chief Ufa to civil 
Affairs and Commerce, and that they defign 
to ferve, and not Philofophy or natural Hifto- 
ry. But OwveriWj in his Defcription of Anci- 
ent Germa7iy^ Switzerland and Italy^ hath given 
Maps of thofe Countries more approaching to 
the natural Face of them, and we have drawn 
(at the end of this Chapter) fuch a Map of 
either Hemilphere, without marking Coun- 
tries or Towns, or any fuch artificial Things; 
diftinguifliing only Land and Sea, lilands and 
Continents, Mountains and not Mountains ; 
and 'tis very ufeful to imagine the Earth in 
this Manner, and to look often upon fuch 
bare Draughts as fiiew us Nature undreft ; for 
Book I. O then 

194 T^-^^ Theory of the Earth. 

then we are beft able to judge what her true 

Shapes and Proportions are. 

'Tis certain that we naturally imagine the 
Surflice of the Earth much more regular than 
it is ; for unlefs we be in fome Mountainous 
Parts, there feldom occur any great Inequa- 
lities within fo much Compals of Ground as 
we can, at once, reach with our Eye ; and to 
conceive the reft, we multiply the ilmie Idea^ 
and extend it to thc^fe Parts of the Earth that 
we do not fee ; and fo fancy the whole Globe 
much more fmooth and uniform than it is. 
But fuppofe a Man was carried aflcep out of a 
plain Country amongft the Jlps^ and left there 
upon the top of one of the higheft Mountains, 
when he wak'd and look'd about him, he wou'd 
think himfelf in an inchanted Country^ or car- 
ried into another World j every Thing would 
appear to him fo different to what he had ever 
feen or imagin'd before. To fee on every 
Hand of him a multitude of vaft Bodies thrown 
together in Confufion, as thofe Mountains are ^ 
Rocks {landing naked round about him ; and 
the hollow Valleys gaping under him ; and at 
his Feet, it may be, an Heap of frozen Snow 
i« themidft of Summer. He would bear the 
Thunder come from below, and fee the black 
Clouds hanging beneath him; upon fuch a 
Profped it would not be eafy to him to per- 
fwade himfelf that he was ftill upon the fame 
Earth ; but if he did, he would be convinced, 
at leaft, that there are fome Regions of it 
• firangely rude, and ruin-like, and very diffe- 
-rent from w^hat he had ever thought of before. 


The Deluge and Diffol/ftm of the Earth, r 95 
But the Inhabitants of thefe wild Places are 
even with us ; lor thofe that live aniongft the 
■Jlps and the great Mountains, think that all 
the reft of the Earth is like their Countr)* all 
broken into Mountains, and Valleys, and Pre- 
cipices 5 they never fee other^ and nioft Peo- 
ple think of nothing hut what they have feen 
at one time or another. 

Thefe Alp.f we are fpeaking of are the great- 
eft Range of Mountains in Europe -, and 'tis 
prodigious to fee and to confider of what ex- 
tent thefe Heaps of Stones and Rubbifti are; 
one way they over-fpread Saxoy and Danphine^ 
and reach thro' France to the Pjrenean Moun- 
tains, and fo to the Ocean. The other way 
they run along the Skirts of Germany thro' 
Stiria^ Fannonia^ and Dalmatia^ as far as 
Thrace and the Black Sea. Then backwards 
they cover Switzerland and the Parts adjacent; 
and that Branch of them which we call the 
Appennine;^ ftrikes thro' Italy, and is, as it 
Were, the Back-bone of that Country. This 
muft needs be a large Space of Ground which 
they ftand upon ; yet 'tis not this part of En- 
rope only that is laden with Mountains, the 
Northern part is as rough and rude in the Face 
of the Country, as in the Manners of the Peor 
pie ; Bohemia^Silefia^ Denma^'k^Norz9jayySrveed- 
land., Lapland.^ and Ifeland^ and all the Gc:.fts 
of the Baltick Sea^ are full of Cliits, anA 
Rocks, and Crags of Mountains: Befidesthe. 
Riphean Mountains in M//frcTy, which the In- 
habitants there ufe to call the Stone-girdle.^ and 
believe that it girds the Earth round about. 

O 2 Noi 

rp6 The Theory of the Earth. 

Nor are the other Parts of our Continent 
more free from Mountains than Europe^ nor 
other Parts of the Earth than our Continent : 
Th^ey are in the New World as well as the 
Old j and if they could difcover two or three 
New Worlds or Continents more, they would 
ftill find them there. Neither is there any O- 
riginal Ifland upon the Earth, but is either all 
a Rock, or hath Rocks and Mountains in it. 
And all the dry Land, and every Continent, 
is but a kind of Mountain ; tho' that Moun- 
tain hath a multitude of lefTer ones, and Val- 
leys, and Plains, and Lakes, and Marlhes, 
and all variety of Grounds, 

In Ainerica^ the Andes ^ or a Ridge of Moun- 
tains fo called, are reported to be higher than 
any we have, reaching above a thoufand 
Leagues in Length, and twenty in Breadth, 
u^here they are the narroweft. In Ajrick the 
Mountain Atlas^ that for its Height was faid 
to bear the Heavens on its Back, runs all a- 
long from the Weftern Sea to the Borders of 
jEgypt^ parallel with the Mediterranean, There 
alfo are the Mountains of the Moon^ and ma- 
ny more whereof we have but an imperfed 
Account, as neither indeed of that Country 
in the remote and inner Parts of it. Afia is 
better known, and the Mountains thereof 
better defcrib'd : Taurus^ which is the princi- 
pal, was adjudg'd by the Ancient Geographers 
the greateft in the World. It divides Afia in- 
to two Parts, which have their Denomination 
from it: And there is an Anti-Taurh'S the great- 
er and the lefs, which accordingly divide Ar- 


The Deluge and Diffolutm of the Eanh, \91 
inertia into greater and lefs. Then the Cmci^ 
form Mountains of hnam^ the famous Qauca- 
fus^ the long Chains of Tartary and China^ and 
the Rocky and Mountainous Arabia. If one 
could at once have a Profped of all thefe to- 
gether, one would be eafily fatisfied, that the 
Globe of the Earth is a more rude and indi- 
gefted Body than 'tis commonly imagin'd ^ if 
one could fee, I fiy, all the Kingdoms and 
Regions of the Earth at one View, how they 
lie in broken Heaps ; The Sea hath over- 
whelmed one half of them, and what renwins 
are but the taller parts of a Ruin. Look upon 
thofe great Ranges of Mountains in Europe or 
in AJia whereof we have given a fliort Sur- 
vey, in what Confufion do they lie? They 
have neither Form nor Beauty, nor Shape, nor 
Order, no more than the Clouds in the Air. 
Then how Barren, how Defolate, how Naked 
are they ? How they ftand negleded by Na- 
ture ? Neither the Rains can foften them, nor 
the Dews from Heaven make them fruitful. 

I have given this fliort Account of the Moun- 
tains of the Earth, to help to remove that 
Prejudice we are apt to have, or that Conceit, 
that the prefent Earth is regularly for jnd^ And 
to this purpofe I do not doubt but that it 
would be of very good Ufe to have 7iatural 
Maps of the Earth , as we noted before , 
as well as cm/j and done with the fame Care 
and Judgment. Our common Maps I call 
Gt/7, which note the Diftindion of Countries 
and of Cities, and reprefent the Artiiffcial 
Earth as inhabited and cultivated : But Natu- 

O 3 ral 

ip8 The Theory of the Earth. 
ral Maps leave out all that, and reprefent the 
Earth as it would be if there was not an In- 
habitant upon itj nor ever had been , the Ske- 
leton of the Earth, as I may fo fay, with the 
Sight of all its Parts, Methinks alfo every ' 
Prince fliould have fuch a Draught of his own 
Country and Dominions , to fee how the 
Ground lies in the feveral Parts of them , 
which higheft, which lowefl: ; what Refped 
they have to one anotlier, and to the Sea ; 
how' the Rivers flow, and why j how the 
Mountains ftand j how the Heaths, and how 
the Marjlies are plac'd. Such a Map or Sur- 
vey would be ufeful both in time of War and 
Peace, and many good Obfervations might be 
made by it, not only as to natural Hiftory and 
Philofophy, but alfo in order to the perfed 
Improvement of a Country. But to return to 
our Mountains. 

And this View of the Multitude and Great- 
nefs of them may help to redify our Miftakes 
about the Form of the Earth j fo before we 
proceed to examine their Caufes, it will be 
good to obferve further, that thefe Mountains 
are plac'd in no Order one with another, that 
can either refped Ufe or Beauty j and if you 
confider them fingly, they do not confift of 
any Proportion of Parts that is referable to 
any Defign, or that hath the leaft Footfteps of 
Art or Counfel. There is nothing in Nature 
more fhapelefs and iil-figur'd than an old Rock 
or a Mountain, and all that Variety that is 
among them, is but the various Modes of Ir- 
rt'£:ularity : fo as you cannot make a better 

^■' ' • Cha- 

The Deluge and Dijjohitm of the Earth. 1 99 
Charader of them, in fiioit, than to fay they 
are of all Forms and Figures, except regular. 
Then if you would go within thefe Moun- 
tains, (for they are generally hollow) you 
would find all Things there more rude, if poi- 
iible, than without : And laftly, if you look 
upon an Heap of them together, or a moun- 
tainous Country, they are the greateft Exam- 
ples of Confufion that we know in Nature ,- 
no Tempeft or Earthquake puts Things into 
more Diforder. 'Tis true, they cannot look 
fo ill now as they did at firft,- a Ruin that is 
frelli looks much worfe than afterwards, when 
the Earth grows difcolour'd and skin'd over. 
But I fancy if we had feen the Mountains 
when they were new born and raw,- when the 
Earth was frelli broken, and the Waters of 
the Deluge newly retir'd, the Fradions and 
Confufions of them would have appeared very 
ghaftly and frightfal. 

After this general Survey of the Mountains 
of the Earth and their Properties, let us now 
refled upon the Caufes of them. There is a 
double Pleafure in Philofophy , firft that of 
Admiration, whilft we contemplate Things 
that are great and wonderful, and do not yet 
underftand their Caufes ; for tho' Admiration 
proceeds from Ignorance, yet there is a certain 
Charm and Sweetnefs in that PafTion. Then 
the fecond Pleafure is greater and more intel- 
ledual, which is that of diftinft Knowledge 
and Compreheniion, when we come to have 
the Key that unlocks thofe Secrets, and fee the 
Methods wherein thofe Things come to pafs 

O 4 that 

2 oo The Theory of the Earth. 
that we admir'd before : The Reafons why 
the World is fo or fo^ and from what Caufes 
Nature, or any Part of Nature, came into 
fuch aState j ana this we are now to enquire af- 
ter as to the Mountains of the Earth, what their 
Original was, how and when the Earth came 
into this ftranee Frame and Strudure. In the 
Beginning of our World, when the Earth rofe 
from a Chaos, 'twas impoflible it fliould come 
immediately into this mountainous Form ; be- 
caufe a Mafs that is fluid, as a Chaos is, can- 
not lie in any other Figure than what is regu- 
lar ; for the confrant Laws of Nature do cer- 
tainly bring all Liquors into that Form : And 
a Chaos is not call'd fo from any Confufion or 
Brokennefs in the Form of it, but from a Con- 
fufion and Mixture of all Sorts of Ingredients 
in the Compofition of it. So we have already 
produc'd, in the precedent Chapters, a dou- 
ble Argument that the Earth was not original- 
ly in this Form, both becaufe it rofe from a 
Chaos, which could not of itfelf, or by any 
immediate Concretion, fettle into a Form of 
this Nature, as hath been Ihown in the fourth 
and fifth Chapters ; as alfo becaufe if it had 
been originally made thus, it could never 
have undergone a Deluge, as hath been prov'd 
in the fecond and third Chapters. If this be 
then a fecondary and fuccedaneous Form, the 
great Queftion is from what Caufes it arifes. 

Some have thought that Mountains, and all 
other Irregularities in the Earth, have Rife 
from Earthquakes , and fuch like Caufes ; 
others have thought that they canie from the 


The Deluge and Diffolution of the Earth. 201 
univerfal Deluge j yet not from any Diffolu- 
tion of the Earth that was then, but only from 
the great Agitation of the Waters, which broke 
the Ground into this rude and unequal Form. 
Both thefe Caufes feem to me very incompe- 
tent and infufficient. Earthquakes feldom 
make Mountains, they often take them away, 
and fink them down into the Caverns that lie 
under them j befides, Earthquakes are not in 
all Countries and Climates as Mountains are ; 
for, as we have obferv'd more than once, there 
is neither Ifland that is original, nor Continent 
any where in the Earth, in what Latitude fo- 
ever, but hath Mountains and Rocks in it. And 
laftly, what Probability is there, or how is it 
credible, that thofe vaft Tracks of Land which 
we fee fill'd with Mountains both in Europey 
/}[ia and Africa^ were rais'd by Earthquakes, 
or any Eruptions from below ? In what Age 
of the World was this done, and why not con- 
tinu d ? As for the Deluge, which they al- 
ledge as another Caufe, I doubt not but Moun- 
tains were made in the Time of the general 
Deluge, that great Change and Transforma- 
tion of the Earth happen'd then, but not from 
fuch Caufes as are pretended, that is, the bare 
rolling and agitation of the Waters ; for if the 
Earth was fmooth and plain before the Flood, 
as they feem to fuppofe as well as we do, the 
Waters could have little or no Power over a 
fmooth Surface to tear it any way in Pieces, 
no more than they do a Meadow or low 
Ground when they lie upon it j for that which 
makes Torrents and Land-floods violent, is 


2 o 2 The Theory of the E a R t h. 

their Fall from the Mountains and high Lands, 
which our Earth is now full of j but if the Rain 
fell upon even and level Ground, it would on- 
ly iodden and compreG it , there is no poiTibi- 
iity how it fhould raife Mountains in it. And 
if we could imagine an univerfal Deluge as the 
Earth is now conflituted, it would rather 
throw down the Hills and Mountains than 
raife new ones ; or by beating down their 
Tops and loofe Parts, help to fill the Valleys, 
and bring the Earth nearer to Evennefs and 

Seeing then there are no Hopes of explain- 
ing the Origin of Mountains, either from par- 
ticular Earthquakes, or from the general De- 
luge, according to the common Notion and 
Explication of it ,• thefe not being Caufes an- 
fwerable to fuch vaft Effects : Let us try our 
Hypothfjis again I which hath made us a Channel 
large enough for the Sea, and room for all fub- 
terraneous Cavities, and I think will find us 
Materials enough to raife all the Mountains of 
the Earth. We fuppofe the great Arch or 
Circumference of the firft Earth to have fallen 
into the Abyfs at the Deluge, and feeing that 
was larger than the Surface it fell upon, 'tis ab- 
lolutely certain, that it could not all fall flat, 
or lie under the Water : Now as all thofe Parts 
chat flood above the Water made dry Land, or 
the prefent habitable Earth, fo fuch Parts of the 
dry Land as flood higher than the reft, made 
Hills and Mountains -, and this is the firft and 
general Account of them, and of all the Ine- 
tjualities of the Earth. But to confider thefe 


The Deluge and Diffolntion of the Earth, i o 3 
Things a little more particularly : There is a 
double Caule and NeceHity of Mountains, firft 
this now mention'dj becaufe the exterior Orb 
of the Earth was greater than the interior, 
which it fell upon, and therefore it could not 
all flill flat ; and fecondly, becaufe this exte- 
rior Orb did not fliU fo flat and large as it 
might, or did not cover all the Bottom of the 
Abyfs, as it was very capable to do ; but as 
we iliewed before in explaining the Channel 
of the Ocean, it left a gaping in the Middle, 
or an Abyfs-channel^ as 1 fliould call it ; and the 
broader this Abyfs-channel was , the more 
Mountains there would be upon the dry Land ; 
for there would be more Earth, or more of 
the falling Orb left, and lefs Room to place it 
in, and therefore it mufl: ftand more in Heaps. 

In what Parts of the Earth thefe Heaps would 
lie, and in what particular manner, it cannot be 
expeded that we fliould tell , but all that we 
have hitherto obferv'd concerning Mountains, 
how flrange foever, and othervvife unaccount- 
able, may eafily be explain'd, and deduc'd 
from this Original j. we fliall not wonder at 
their Greatnefs and Vaflnefs , feeing they 
are the Ruins of a broken World ^ and 
they w^ould take up more or lefs of the dry 
Land, according as the Ocean took up more 
or lefs Space of our Globe : Then as to their 
Figure and Form, whether external or inter- 
nal, 'tis juft fuch as anfwers our Expedation, 
and no more than what the Hypcthefu leads us 
to j for you would eafily believe that thefe 
Heaps would be irregular in all manner of 


2 04 The' Theory of the E a r t h. 
vvays, whether confider'd apart, or in their Si- 
tuation to one another. And they would lie 
commonly in Clufters and in Ridges, for thofe 
are two of the moft general Poftures of the 
Parts of a Ruin, when they fall inwards. Laft- 
ly. We cannot wonder that Mountains fliould 
be generally hollow ; for great Bodies falling 
together in Confufion, or bearing and leaning 
againft one another, muft needs make a great 
many Hollowneffes in them, and by their une- 
qual Applications em.pty Spaces will be inter- 
cepted. We fee alfo from the fame Reafon, 
why mountainous Countries are fubjed to 
Earthquakes ; and why Mountains often fink 
and fall down into the Caverns that lie under 
them ; their Joints and Props being decayed 
and worn, they become unable to bear their 
Weight. And all thefe Properties you fee 
hang upon one and the fame String, and are 
juft Conlequences from our Suppofition con- 
cerning the Dilfolution of the firft Earth. And 
there is no furer Mark of a good Hypothefify 
than when it doth not only hit luckily in one or 
two Particulars, but anfwers all that it is to be 
apply'd to, and is adequate to Nature in her 
whole Extent. 

But how fully or eafily foever thefe Things 
may anfwer Nature, you will fay, it may be, 
that ail this is but an Hypothefiy ; that is, a kind 
of Fiftion or Suppofition that Things were fo 
and fo at i5rft, and by the Coherence and A- 
greement of the Effeds with fuch a Suppofi- 
tion, you would argu^ and prove that they 
were really fo. This I confefs is true^ this is 


The Deluge and ViiJoliLtion of the Earth. 2c$ 
the Method, and if we would know any 
Thing in Nature further than our Senfes go, 
we can know it no otherwife than by an Hypo- 
thefis. When Things are either too little for 
our Senles, or too remote and inacceflible, we 
have no Way to know the inward Nature, 
and the Caufes of their fenfible Properties, but 
by reafoning upon an Hypothffis. If you would 
know^for Example^of what Parts Water^or any 
other Liquor confifts, they are too little to be 
difcern'd by the Eye ^ you muft therefore take 
a Suppofition concerning their inviiible Figure 
and Form, and if that agrees and gives the 
Reafon of all their feniible Qualities, you un- 
derftand the Nature of Water. In like man- 
ner, if you would know the Nature of a Co- 
met, or of what Matter the Sun conlifts, 
which are Things inacceffible to us, you can 
do this no otherwife than by an Hypothefa ; and 
if that Hypotkejis be eafy and intelligible, and 
anfwers all the Phenomena of thofe two Bo- 
dies j you have done as much as a P/j/foy^^^j^r 
or as hu?na?ie Reafon can do. And this is what 
we have attempted concerning the Earth and 
concerning the Deluge. We have laid down 
an HypDtkefu that is eafy and perfpicuous, con- 
fifting of a few Things, and thofe very intelli- 
gible, and from this we have given an Ac- 
count how the old World wcs deftroy'd by a 
Deluge of Water, and hov/ the Earth came 
into this prefent Form, fo difHnguifli'd and 
interrupted with Sea and Land, Mountains 
and Valleys, and fo broken in the Surface and 
inward Parts of it. 


2 o6 The Theory of the Earth." 

But to fpeak the Truth, this Theory is 
fomething more than a bare Hypothefis , becaufe 
we are alTur'd that the general Ground that 
we go upon is true, namely. That the Earth 
rofe at firfl from a Chaos ; for befides Reafon 
and Antiquity, Scripture itfelf doth afliire us 
of that 5 and that one Point being granted 
we have deduc'd from it all the reft by a di- 
rect Chain of Confequences , which I think 
cannot be broken eafily in any Part or Link of 
it. Beiides, the great Hinge of this Theory, 
upon which all the reft turns, is the Diftindion 
w^e make of the Antediluvian Earth and 
Heavens from the Poftdiluvian, as to their 
Form and Conftitution. And it will never be 
beaten out of my Head, but that St. Peter^ 
2 Epift. ch. 3. 55 6. hath made the fame Di- 
ftinftion fixteen hundred Years fince, and to 
the very fame purpofe ; fo that we have fure 
footing here again, and the Theory rifeth a- 
bove the Charader of a bare Hypothefis, And 
whereas an Hypothefis that is clear and propor- 
tion'd to Nature in every Refped:, is account- 
ed morally certain, we muft in Equity give 
more than a moral Certitude to this Theory. 
But I mean this only as to the general Parts of 
it j for as to Particularities, I look upon them 
only as problematical, and accordingly I af- 
firm nothing therein but with a Power of Re- 
vocation,- and a Liberty to change my Opinion 
when I Ihall be better informed. Neither do 
I know any Author that hath treated a Mat- 
ter new, remote, and confifting of a Multi- 
tude of Particulars, who would not have had 


ln< o^nit. 



hu ognita 

The Deluge and Vijjoluticn of the Earth. 207 
occafion, if lie had liv'd to have feen his Hy- 
pothejis fully examin'd, to have changd his 
Mind and Manner of explaining Things in 
many material Inftances. 

To conclude both this Chapter and this 
Sedion, we have here added a Map or Draught 
of the Earth, according to the natural Face of 
it, as it would appear from the Moon, if we 
were a little nearer to her .; or as it was at firfl 
after the Deluge, before Cities were, built, Di- 
frindions of Countries made, or any Altera- 
tions by humane Induftry. 'Tis chiefly to ex- 
pofe more to view the Mountains of the Earth, 
and the Proportions of Sea and Land ; to fhew 
it as it lies in itfelf, and as a Naturalifl: ought 
to conceive and confider it. 'Tis true, there 
are far more xMountains upon the Earth than 
what are here reprefented, for more could 
not conveniently be plac'd in this narrow 
Scheme ; but the beft and moft effedual Way 
of reprefenting the Body of the Earth as it is 
by Nature, would be, not in plain Tables, 
but by a rough Globe^ expreiTing all the confi- 
derable Inequalities that are upon the Earth. 
The fmooth Globes that we ufe, do but nou- 
rifli in us the Conceit of the Earth's Regulari- 
ty j and tho' they may be convenient enough 
for geographical Purpofes, they are not fo pro- 
per for natural Science^ nothing would be 
more ufeful in this refpecft, than a rough 
Globe of the largeft Dimenfions, wherein the 
Channel of the Sea lliould be really hollow,2s 
it is in Nature, with all its unequal Depths ac- 
cording to the beft Soundings, and the Shores 


2o8 The Theory of the E a r t h; 
exprefs'd both according to Matter and Form^ 
little Rocks ftanding where there are. Rocks, 
and Sands and Beaches in the Places where 
they are found ^ and all the Iflands planted in 
the Sea-channel in a due Form, and in their 
folid Dimenfions. Then upon the Land 
fhould ftand all the Ranges of Mountains, in 
the fame Order or Diforder that Nature hath 
fet them there : And the in-land Seas, and 
great Lakes, or rather the Beds they lie in, 
fliould be duly reprefented j as alfo the vaft 
Defarts of Sand as they lie upon the Earth. 
And this being done with Care and due Art, 
would be a true Epitome, or true Model of 
our Earth. Where we fliould fee, befides o- 
therlnftruftions, what a rude Lump our World 
is, which we are fo apt to dote upon. 

The Deluge and DiJJbhttion of the Earth. 2 op 

Chap. Xll. 

A JhoYt Review of what hath been already trea^ 
ted ofy and in what Manner. The fe'veral 
Faces and Schemes under which the Earth 
would appear to a Stranger^ that fhould "view 
it firjl at a Dijiance^ and then more clofely^ 
and the Application of them to our Suhjed. All 
Methods^ whether philofophical or theological^ 
that ha've been offer d by others for the Expli- 
cation of the Form of the Earthy are examind 
end difprcvd. A Conje^ure concerning the 
other Planets^ their natural Form and State 
compared with ours, 

WE have finifli'd the three SeiSions of 
this Book^ and in this laft Chapter 
we will make a fliort Review and 
Reflexion upon what hath been hitherto treat- 
ed of, and add fome further Confirmations of 
it. The Explication of the univerfal Deluge 
was the firft Propofal artd Defign of this Dif- 
courfe, to make that a Thing credible and in- 
telligible to the Mind of Man : And the full 
Explication of this drew in the whole Theory 
of the Earth : Whofe Original we have de- 
due'd from its firft Source, and fliew'd both 
what was its primaeval Form , and how it 
came into its prefent Form. The Sam of our 
Hypothejis concerning the univerfal Deluge was 
this ; That it came not to pafs, as was vulgar- 
ly believ'd, by an Excefs of Rains, or any In- 
undation of the Sea, nor could ever be effed- 
J300K t P ed 

2 1 o The Theory of the Earth. 
ed by a mere Abundance of Waters ; unlefs 
we fuppofe fome Diffolution of the Earth at 
the fame time, namely, when the Great Ahyfs 
was broken open. And accordingly we fliew- 
ed that without fuch a Diflblution, or if the 
Earth had been always in the fame Form it is 
in now, no Mafs of Water, any where to be 
found in the World, could have equalled the 
Height of the Mountains, or made fuch an 
imiverfal Deluge. Secondly, We ihewed that 
the Form of the Earth at firft, and till the De- 
luge, was fuch as made it capable and fubjeft 
to a Diffolution : And thirdly. That fuch a 
Diffolution being fuppos'd, the Dodrine of 
the univerfal Deluge is very reafonable and in- 
telligible j and not only the Dodrine of the 
Deluge, but the fome Suppofition is a Key to 
all Nature befides, fliewing us how our Globe 
became terraqueous, what was the Original of 
Mountains, of the Sea-channel, of Iflands, of 
fubterraneous Cavities ^ things, which with- 
out this Suppofition are as unintelligible as 
the univeiffU Flood itfelf. And thefe things 
reciprocally confirming one another, our H)f ^- 
thefis of the Deluge is arm'd, both Breaft and 
Back, by the Caufes and by the Effefls. 

It remains nou'', that, as to confirm our Ex- 
plication of the Deluge, we fiiew'd all other 
Accounts that had been given of it to be inef- 
fedual or impoflible, fo to confirm our Doc- 
trine concerning the Diffolution of the Earth, 
and concerning the Original of Mountains, 
Seas, and all Inequalities upon it, or within 
it, we mdk examine what Caufes have been 


The 'Deluge and Di/folution of the Earth. 2 1 1 
ailign'd by others, or what Accounts given of 
thefe things : That feeing their Defe<5livenefs, 
we may have the more Alfurance and Satis- 
fadion in our own Method. 

And in order to this, let us obferve firft the 
general Forms under which the Earth may be 
confider'd, or under which it doth appear ac- 
cordingly as we view it more nearly or re- 
motely ; and the firft of thefe and the moft 
general is that of a Terraqueom Globe. If a 
Philofopher Ihould come out of another 
World out of Curiofity to fee our Earth, the 
firft Difcovery or Obfervation he would make 
would be this, that it was a terraqueous 
Globe : Thus much he might obferve at a 
great Diftance when he came but near the Bor- 
ders of our World. This we difcern in the 
Moon and moft of the Planets, that they are 
divided into Sea and Land, and how this Di- 
vifion came, would be his firft Remark and 
Inquiry concerning our Earth y and how alfo 
thofe Subdivifions of Iflands, or little Earths 
which lie in the Water, how thefe were 
form'd, and that great Channel that contains 
them both. 

The fecond Form that the Earth appears 
under, is that of an uneven and Mctmtaimt^s 
Globe. When our Traveller had got below 
the Circle of the Moon, he would difcern the 
bald Tops of our Mountains, and the long 
Ranges of them upon our 'Continents. We 
cannot from the Earth difcern Mountains and 
Valleys in the Moon diredtly, but from the 
Motion of the Light and Shadows which we 

P 2 fee 

1 1 2 The Theory of the Earth. 
fee there, we eafily colled that there are fucK 
Inequalities : And accordingly we fuppofe 
that our Mountains would appear at a great 
Diftance, and the fliady Valleys lying unde*? 
them 5 and that this curious Perfon that came 
to view our Earth, would make that his fe- 
cond Inquiry jhow thofe Mountains were form- 
ed ? and how our Globe came to be fo rude 
and irregular ? for w© may juftly demand how 
any Irregularity came into Nature, feeing all 
her firft Motions and her firft Forms are regu- 
lar, and whatfoever is not fo, is but feconda- 
ry, and the Confequence of fome Degenera- 
cy, or of fome Decay. 

The third vifible Form af our Earth is that 
of a broken Globe ; and broken throughout, 
but in the outward Parts and Regions of it. 
This,, it may be, you will fay, is not a vifible 
Form y it doth not appear to the Eye, with- 
out reafoning, that the Sur&ce of the Earth 
is fo broken. Suppofe our new Vifitant had 
now pafs'd the middle Region of the Air, and 
was alighted upon the Top of Pick Teneriffh 
for his firft refling Place^ and that fitting there 
he took a View of the great Rocks, the wide 
Sea^ and of the Shores of Africk and Europe ; 
for we'll fuppofe his piercing Eye to reach fo 
far 'y 1 will not tiy that at firft Sight he would 
pronounce that the Surface of this Globe was 
broken, nnlefs he knew it to be fo by Compa- 
rifon with fome other Planet like to it ; but 
the broken Form and Figure of many Parts of 
the Rocks, and the Pofture in which they lay, 
or great Portion^ of them^ fome inclin'd, fome 


The Delugs ami Diljolution of the Earth. 2 1 3 
-proftrate, foine ercfied, would naturally lead- 
iiim to that Thought, that they were a Ruin ; 
he would fee alio the Iflands tore from the 
Continents, and both the Shores of the Con- 
tinents and their inland Parts in the fame Dif- 
order and irregular Situation. Befides, he had 
this great Advantage in viewing the Earth at a 
Diftance, that he could fee a whole Hemi- 
fphere together, which, as he made his Ap- 
proaches through the Air, would have much 
what the fame Afpeft and Countenance as 'tis 
rcprefented within the great Scheme, P^igc^ 203. 
And if any Man fliould accidentally hit upon 
that Scheme, not knowing or thinking that it 
was the Earth, I believe his firft Thought of it 
ivould be, that it was fome great broken Bo- 
dy, or ruin'd Frame of Matter^ and the Ori- 
ginal, I am fure, is more manifeftly fo. But 
we'll leave our ftrange Philofopher to his own 
Obfervations, and wifh him good Guides and 
interpreters in his Survey of the Earth, and that 
he would make a favourable Report at his Re- 
turn home of our little dirty Planet. 

In the mean time, let us purfue, in our own 
Way, this Third Idea of the Earth a little fur- 
ther, as it is a broken Globe. Nature I know 
hath diilembled and cover'd this Form as much 
as may be, and Time hath help'd to repair 
fome of the old Breaches, or fill them up ; 
belides, the Changes that have been made by 
Art and humane Induftry, by Agriculture, 
planting, and building Towns, hath made 
the Face of the Earth quite another Thing 
from what it was in its naked Rudenefs. As 
. P 3 Man- 

2T4 The Theory of the Earth.' 
Mankind is much alter^ from its priftine State; 
from what it was four thoufand Years ago, or 
towards the firft Ages after the Flood, when 
the Nations liv'd in Simplicity or Barbarouf- 
nefs ; fo is the Earth too, and both fo difguis'd 
and transform'd, that if one of thofe primi- 
tive Fathers fliould rife from the Dead, he 
would fcarce know this to be the fame World 
which he liv'd in before. But to difcern the 
true Form of the Earthy whether intire or 
broken, regular or diforder'd, we muft in the 
firft Place take away all thofe Ornaments or 
Additions made by Art or Nature, and view 
the bare Carcafs of the Earth, as it hath no- 
thing on it but Rocks and Mountains, Defarts 
and Fields, and hollow Valleys, and a wide 
Sea. Then fecondly. We muft in our Imagi- 
nation empty this Channel of the Sea, take 
out all the Waters that hinder the Sight of it^ 
and look upon the dry Ditch, meafure the 
Pepth and Breadth of it in our Mind, and ob- 
Icrve the Manner of its Conftruftion, and in 
what a wild Pofture all the Parts of it lie ; ac- 
cording as it hath been formerly reprefented^ 
Chap. 10. And laftly. We muft take off the 
Cover of all fubterraneous Places and deep 
Caverns, to fee the infide of the Earth , an4 
lay bare the Roots of Mountains, to look in- 
to thofe Holes and Vaults that are under them, 
fiU'd fometimes with Fire, fometimes with 
Water, and fometimes with thick Air and Va-- 
pours. The Object being thus prepared, we 
are then to look fixedly upon it, and to pro-f 
nounce what y/e think of this disfigur'd Mafs, 
• ■ ■ "^'' ' -^ ' whether 

The Deluge andDiJJbhnion of the Earth. 215 
whether this exterior Frame doth not feeni to 
be fhatter'd , and whether it doth more aptly 
refemble a new-made World, or the Ruins of 
one broken. I confefs when this Idea of the 
Earth is prefent to my Thoughts, I can no 
more believe that this was the Form wherein 
it was firft produc'd, than if I had fcen the 
Temple of Jenifalem in its Ruins, when de- 
fac'd and fack'd by the Bahyloniaits^ I could 
have perfuaded myfelf that it had never been 
in any other Pofture, and that Solomon had gi- 
ven Orders for building it fo. 

So much for the form of the Earth ; It re- 
mains now that we examine what Caufes have 
been aflign'd by others of thefe Irregularities 
in the Form of the Earth, which we explain 
by the DifTolution of it j what Accounts any 
of the Ancients have given, or attempted to 
give, how the Earth fwelFd into Mountains in 
certain Places, and in others was depref^'d in- 
to low Valleys, how the Body of it was fo 
broken, and how the Channel of the Sea was 
made. The Elements naturally lie in regu- 
lar Forms one above another, and now we find 
them mix'd, confounded and tranfpos'd, how 
comes this Diflurbance and Difordination in 
Nature ? The Explications of thefe Things 
that have been given by others, may be re- 
duc'd to two general Sorts, Philofopkical or 
Theological^ and we will try them both for our 

Of Philofophers none was more concern'd 
jto give an Account of fuch Things than Epi- 
furusy both becaufe he acknovyledged the Ori- 

P 4 * gin 

2 1 6 The Theory of the E a r t h.* 
gin of the Earth to have been from a Chaof^ 
and alfo admitted no Caufes to aft in Nature 
but Matter and Motion : Yet all the Account 
we have from the Epicuream of the Form of 
the Earth, and the great Inequalities that are 
in it, is fo flight and trivial, that methinks it 
doth not deferve the Name of a philofophical 
Explication. They fay that the Earth and Wa- 
ter were mix'd at firft, or rather the Earth was 
above the Water, and as tlie Earth was con- 
densed by the Heat of the Sun and the Winds, 
the Water was fqueez'd out in certain Places, 
which either it found hollow or made fo ; and 
fo was the Channel of the Sea made. Then 
as for Mountains, while fome Parts of the 
Earth flirunk and funk in this Manner, others 
would not fink ; and thefe ftanding ftill while 
the others fell lower, made the Mountains. 
How the fubterraneous Cavities were made ac- 
cording to them, I do not find. 

This is all the Account that Monfietir Gaf- 
[endi (who feems to have made it his Buii- 
nefs, as well as his Pleafure, to embellifli that 
Philofophy) can help us to out of the Epcii^ 
vean Authors, how the Earth came into this 
Form ', and he that can content himfelf with 
this, is, in my Mind, of an Humour veryeafy 
to be pleas'd. Do the Sun and the Wind ufe 
to fqueeze Pools of Water out of the Earth, 
and that in fuch a Quantity as to make an 
Pcean ? They dry the Earth, and the Waters 
too, and rarify them into Vapours, but I ne- 
ver knew them to be the Caufes of preffing 
}vVater out of the Earth by Condenfatiooo 
•-' Could 

The Deluge and Diffolution of the Earth. 217 
Could they comprefs the Earth any otherwife, 
than by drying it and making it hard ? and in 
Proportion, as it was more dry, would it not 
the more imbibe and fuck up the Water ? and 
how were the great Mountains of the Earth 
made in the North and in the South, where 
the Influence of the Sun is not great <^ What 
funk the Earth there, and made the Flefli ftart 
from the Bones ? But 'tis no Wonder that Epi- 
ctincs fhould give fuch a mean Account of the 
Origin of the Earth, and the Form of its Parts, 
who did not fo niuch as underftand the gene- 
ral Figure of the Body of it, that it was in 
fome manner Spherical, or that the Heavens 
encompafs'd it round. One muft have a blind 
Love for that Philofophy, and for theConclu- 
fions it drives at, not to fee its Lamenefs and 
Defeds in thofe firft and fundamental Parts. 

Anftotle^ though he was not concern'd to 
give an Account how the Earth came into this 
prefent Form, as he fuppos'd it Eternal , yet 
iipon another Conlideration he feems oblig'd 
to give fome Reafon how the Elements came 
into this Diforder -, feeing he fuppofeth, that, 
according to the Order of Nature, the Water 
fhould lie above the Earth in a Sphere, a,s the 
Air doth above the Water, and his Fire above 
the Air. This he toucheth upon in his Me- 
teors, but fo gently and fearfully, as if he was 
handling hot Coals. He faith the Sea is to be 
confider'd as the Element, or. Body of Waters 
that belongs to this Earth, and that thefe Wa- 
iters change Places, and the Sea is fome Ages 
in one Part of the Globe, and fome Ages. in 

another y 

ii 8 The Theory of the E a r t h; 

another ; but that this is at fuch great Diftan- 
ces of Time that there can be no Memory or 
Record of it. And he feems willing to fup- 
pofe that the Water was once all over the 
Earth, but that it dry'd up in certain Places^ 
and continuing in others, it there made the 

What a miferabk Account is this ? As to his 
Change or Removal of the Sea-channel in fe- 
veral Ages, as it is without all Proof or Pro- 
bability, if he mean it of the Channel of the 
great Ocean, fo 'tis nothing to the purpofe 
here ; for the Qiieftion is not why the Channel 
of the Sea is in fuch a Part of the Earth, ra- 
ther than in another, but why there is any fuch 
prodigious Cavity in or upon the Earth any 
where. And if we take his Suppoiition, that 
the Element of Water was once higher than 
the Earth, and lay in a Sphere about it, then 
let him tell us in plain Terms how the Earth 
got above, or how the Cavity of the Ocean 
was made, and how the Mountains rife , for 
this Elementary Earth which lay under the 
Water, was, I fuppofe, equal and fmooth 
when it lay there , and what reafon was there^ 
that the Waters fliould be dry'd in one Part of 
it, miOre than another, if they were every 
where of an equal Depth, and the Ground 
equal under them ? It was not the Climates 
made any Diftindion, for there is Sea towards 
the Poles, as well as under the ^Equator ; but 
fuppofe they were dry'd up in certain Places, 
that would make no Mountains, no more than 
there are Mountains in our dry'd Marflies : 


The Deluge and Dijfokitionof the Earth. 219 
And the Places where they were not dry'd, 
would not therefore become as deep and hoi- 
low as the Sea-channel, and tear the Earth 
and Rocks in pieces. If you fliould fay that 
this very elementary Earth, as it lay under the 
Waters, was unequal, and was fo originally 
form'd into Mountains and Valleys, and great 
Cavities ^ befides that the Suppofition is al- 
together irrational in itfelf, you muft fuppofe 
a prodigious Mafs of Water to cover fuch an 
Earth ,♦ as much as we found requifite for the 
vulgar Deluge, namely, eight Oceans,- and 
what then is become of the other feven ? Up- 
on the whole I do no not fee that either in 
Epicurus's w^iy^ who feems to fuppofe that the 
Waters were at firft within the Earth ; nor in 
Ariflotles Way, who feems to fuppofe them 
upon the Earth, any rational or tolerable Ac- 
count can be given of the prefent Form of the 

Wherefore fome modern Authors, diflatis- 
fied, as very well they might be, with thefe 
Explications given us by the Ancients concern- 
ing the Form of the Earth, have pitch'd upon 
other Caufes, more true indeed in their kind, 
and in their degree, but that fall as much fliort 
of thofe EfFefts to which they would apply 
them. They fay that all the Irregularities of 
the Body of the Earth have rifen from Earth- 
quakes in particular Places, and from Torrents 
iand Inundations, and from Eruptions of Fire, 
pr fuch like Caufes, whereof we fee fome In- 
. ftances more or lefs every Age , and thefe have 
made that havock upon the Face of the Earth, 


^ 2 o The Theory of the Earth. 
and tiirn'd Things iipfide down, raifing die 
Earth in fome Places, and making great Cavi- 
ties or Chaims in others, fo as to have brought 
it at length into that torn, broken, and dilor-- 
deriy Form in which we now fee it. 

Thefe Authors do fo far agree with us, as 
to acknowledge that the prefent irregular 
Form of the Earth mufl: have proceeded from 
Ruins and Diflblutions of one fort or other j 
but thefe Ruins they make to have been par- 
tial only, in this or in that Country, by piece- 
meal, and in feveral Ages, and from no other 
Caufes but fuch as ftill continue to ad in Na- 
ture, namely , accidental Earthquakes and 
Eruptions of Fires and Waters. Thefe Caufes 
we acknowledge as readily as they do, but not 
as capable to produce fo great Effecas 3s they 
would afcribe to them , the Surfece of the 
Earth may be a little changed by fuch Acci- 
dents as thefe, but for the moft part they ra- 
ther fink the Mountains than raife new ones : 
As when Houfes are blown up by Mines of 
Powder, they are not fet higher, but generally 
fall lower and flatter : Or fnppofe they 
do fometimes raife an Hill, or a little Mount, 
what's that to the great Mountains of our 
World, to thofe long and vaft Piles of Rocks 
and Stones, which the Earth can fcarce bear ? 
. What's that to ftrong-backt Taurus or Atlas^to 
the American Andes^ or to a Mountain that 
reacheth from the Pyreneam to the Euxi?2e 
Sea ? There's as much Difference between 
thefe and thofe faditious Mountains they fpeak 
ofj as betwixt them and Mole-hills. 


The Deluge and Diffotution of the Earth. 221 
And to anfwer more diftindly to this Opi- 
cion, as before in fpeaking of Iflands we di- 
(linguifh'd betwixt faditious and original 
Illandsj fo, if you pleafe, we may diftinguifli 
here betwixt fa^itious and original Moun- 
tains ; and allowing fome few, and thofe of 
the fifth or fixth Magnitude, to have rifen- 
from fuch accidental Caufes, we enquire con- 
cerning the reft and the greateft, what was 
their Original ? If we fliould fuppofe that the 
feven Hills upon which Ro??ie ftands came 
from Ruins or Eruptions, or any fuch Cau- 
fes, it doth not follow that the Alps were made 
fo too. And as for Mountains, fo for the Ca- 
vities of the Earth, I fuppofe there may be 
Difruptions fometimes made by Earthquakes^ 
and Holes worn by fubterraneous Fires and 
Waters ,• but what's that to the Channel of 
the Atlantick Ocean^ or of the Pacifick Oceariy 
which is extended an hundred and fifty De- 
grees under the ^Equator, and towards the 
Poles ftill further ? He that fhould derive fuch 
mighty Things from no greater Caufes, I 
fliould think him a very credulous Philofophen 
And we are too fubjed indeed to that Fault 
of Credulity in matter of Philofophizing : 
Many when they have found out Caufes that 
are proper for certain Effe^its within fuch a 
Compafs, they cannot keep them there, but 
they will make them do every Thing for them 5 
and extend them often to other Effeds of a 
fuperior Nature or Degree, which their Ac- 
tivity can by no mean§ reach to. jEtna hath 
been a burning Mountain ever fince, and 



i 1 2 The Theory of the E a r t h'; 
above the Memory of Man, yet it hath not 
deftroy'd that Ifland, nor made any new Chan- 
nel to the Sea, tho' it (lands fo near it. Nei- 
ther is Veftmus above two or three Miles di- 
ftant from the Sea-fide, to the beft of my Re- 
membrance, and yet in fo many Ages it hath 
made no PafTage to it, neither open nor fub- 
terraneous. 'Tis true, fome Ifthmus's have 
been thrown down by Earthquakes, and fome 
Lakes have been made in that manner, but 
what's this to a Ditch nine thoufand Miles 
broad ? fuch an one we have upon the Earth, 
and of a Depth that is not meafurable 3 what 
Proportion have thefe Caufes to fuch an In- 
ftance ? and how many thoufand Ages muft 
be allow'd to them to do their Work, more 
than the Chronology of our Earth will bear ? 
Befides, When were thefe great Earthquakes 
and Difruptions, that did fuch great Execution 
upon the Body of the Earth ? Was this before 
the Flood or fince ? If before, then the old 
Difficulty returns, how could there be a Floods 
if the Earth was in this mountainous Form 
before that Time ? This, I think, is demon- 
ftrated impoffible in the fecond and third 
Chapters. If fince the Flood , where were 
the Waters of the Earth before thefe Earth- 
quakes made a Channel for them ? Befides, 
where is the Hiftory or Tradition that fpeaks 
of thefe ftrange Things, and of this great 
Change of the Earth ? Hath any v/rit of the 
Origins of the Alp ? In what Year of Rome^ 
or what Olympiad they were born ? Or how 
they grew from little ones ? How the Earth 

groan d 

The Deluge and Dijfolution of the Earth. 22 j 
groan'd when it brought them forth, when its 
Bowels were torn by the ragged Rocks ? Do 
the Chronicles of the Nations mention thefe 
Things, or ancient Fame, or ancient Fables ? 
were they made all at once, or in fucceflive 
'Ages ? Thefe Caufes continue ftill in Nature^ 
we have ftill Earthquakes and fubterraneous 
Fires and Waters, why fhould they not ftill 
operate and have the hme Effefts ? We often 
hear of Cities thrown down by Earthquakes^ 
or Countries fwallow'd up ,• but who ever 
heard of a new Chain of Mountains made up- 
on the Earth, or a new Channel made for the 
Ocean ? We do not read that there hath been 
fo much as a new Sinus of the Sea ever fince 
the Memory of Man : Which is far more fea- 
fible than what they pretend. And Things of 
this Nature being both ftrange and fenfible, 
excite Admiration and great Attention when 
they come to pafs, and would certainly have 
been remembred or propagated in fome Way 
or other, if they, had ever happen'd fince the 
Deluge. They have recorded the Foundation 
of Cities and Monarchies, the Appearance of 
Blazing Stars, the Eruptions of fiery Moun- 
tains, the moft remarkable Earthquakes and 
Inundations, the great Eclipfes or Obfcura- 
tions of the Sun, and any Thing that look'd 
ftrange or Prodigy-like, whether in the Hea- 
vens or on Earth : And thefe, which would 
have been the greateft Prodigies and greateft 
Changes that ever happen'd in Nature, would 
thefe have efcap'd all Obfervation and Me- 

224 The Theory of the Earth; 

mory of Men ? That's as incredible as th^ 

things themfelves are. 

Laftly, To comprehend all thefe Opinions 
together, both of the Ancient and Modern 
Authors^ they feem all to agree with us in 
this. That the Earth was once under another 
Form ; otherwife why do they go about to 
Ihew the Gaufes how it came into this Form ? 
I deiire then to know what Form they fappofe 
the Earth to have been under before the Moun- 
tains were made, the Channel of the Sea, or 
fubterraneous Cavities. Either they muft take' 
that Form which we have aflign'd it before 
the Deluge, or elfe they muft fuppofe it co^ 
ver'd with Water, till the Sea-channels were 
made, and the Mountains brought forth ; as 
in Tig. 2. ^.76. And no doubt it was once 
in this Form, both Reafon and the Authority 
of Mo/^'jaffure us of it ', and this is the Teft 
which every Opinion muft be brought to, how 
the Earth emerg'd out of that Watry Form ? 
and in particukir, as to that Opinion which we 
are now examining, the Qiieftion is, how by 
Earthquakes, and fiery Eruptions, fubterra- 
neous Waters , and fuch like Gaufes , the 
Body of the Earth could be wrought from 
that Form to this prefent Form ? And the 
thing is impoffible at firft fight 5 for fuch 
Gaufes as thefe could not take place in fuch 
an Earth. As for fubterraneous Waters, there 
could be none at that time, for they were all 
above ground ; and as for fubterraneous Ex^ 
halations, whether fiery or aery, there was 
no place for them neither i for the Earth, when 


The Deluge and Diffolution of the Earth. 2 i j 
it lay under the Water, was a folid uniform 
Mais, compaift and clofe united in its parts, 
as we have fhewn before upon feveral Occa- 
fions ; no Mines of* hollow Vaults for the Va- 
pours to be Iddg'd in5no Store-houfes of Fire ^ 
nothing that could make Ear thquakes, nor any 
fort of Ruins or Eruptions i Thefe are En-* 
gihes that cannot play but in an Earth already 
broken, hollow and cavernous. Therefore 
the Authors of this Opinion do in Effe<ft beg 
the Qiiefiion ; they aflign flich Caufes of the 
prefent Form of the Earth, as could not take 
Place, nor have any Adivity until the Earth 
was in this Form t Thefe Caufes may contri- 
bute fomething to increafe the Rudenefs and 
Inequalities of the Earth in certain Places, 
but they could not be the original Caufes of it : 
And that not only becaufe of their Difpropor- 
tion to fuch Effeds, but alfo becaufe of their 
Incapacity , or Non-exiflence at that time 
when thefe EffcSs were to be wrought. 

Thus much concerning the Philofophical O- 
pinions or the natural Caufes that have beert 
affign d for the irregular Form of this prefent 
Earth. Let us now confider the Theological 
Opinions, how Mountains were made at firft, 
and the wonderful Channel of the Sea : And 
thefe Authors fay, God Almighty made them 
immediately when he made the Worlds and 
fo difpatch'd the Bufinefs in a few Words. 
This is a (hort Account indeed, but we muft 
take heed that we do not derogate from the 
Perfeftion of God, by afcribing all Things 
promifcuoufly to his immediate A^ion. I 

Book I. Q, " have 

2 2(5 The Theory of the E a r t h. 
have often fuggefted that the firft Order of 
things is regular and fimple, according as the 
Divine Nature is; and continues fo till there 
is fome Degeneracy in the moral World j I 
have alfo noted upon feveral Occafions, efpe- 
cially in the Lat. Treat. Cap. ii. the Defor- 
mity and Incommodioufnefs of the prefent 
Earth ; and from thefe two Confiderations we 
may reafonably infer, that the prefent State of 
the Earth was not Original, but is a State of 
Subjeftion to Vanity, wherein it muft conti- 
nue till the Redemption and Reftitution of 
all things. 

But befide this general Confideration, there 
are many others, both Natural and Theologi- 
cal, againft this Opinion, which the Authors 
of it, I believe, will find unanfwerable. As 
firft, St. Peters Diftindion betwixt the prefent 
Earth and the Antediluvian ; 2 Ep. Chap. 3. 
5, 6. and that inOppofition to certain profane 
Perfons, v^^ho feem to have been of the fame 
Opinion with thefe Authors, namely, That 
the Heavens and the Earth were the fame now 
that they had been from the beginning, and 
that there had been no Change in Nature, ei- 
ther of late, or in former Ages ; Thefe St. 
Peter confutes and upbraids them with Igno- 
rance or Forgetfulnefs of the Change that was 
brought upon Nature at the Deluge, or that 
the Antediluvian Heavens and Earth were of 
a different Form and Conftitution from the 
j)refent, whereby that World was obnoxious 
to a Deluge of Water, ixs the prefent is 
to a Deluge of Fire. Let thefe Authors put 


The Deluge and hiffolution of the "Earth . 227 
themfelves in the Place of thofe Objedors, 
and fee what Anfwer they can make to the 
Apoftle, whom I leave to difpute the Cafe 
with them. I hope they will not treat this 
Epiftle of St. Feter s fo rudely as D/^p///^ Alex^ 
andrinus did^ an ancient Chriftian, and one 
of St. 'Jeroms Matters ; he was of the fame 
Opinion with thefe Theological Authors, and 
fo fierce in it, that feeing St. Feter s Dodnnc 
here to be contrary, he iliid this Epiftle of St. 
Feter s was corrupted, and was not to be re- 
ceiv'd into the Canon. And all this becaufe it 
taught that the Heavens and the Earth had 
chang'd their Form,and would do fo again at the 
Conflagration 5 fo as the {lime World would 
be triform in Succefs of Time. We ac- 
knowledge hisExpolkionof St. Peter's Words 
to be very true ; but whaf he makes an Argu- 
ment of the Corruption of this Epiftle, is ra- 
ther, in my Mind, a peculiar Argument of 
its Divine Infpiration. In the fecond Place, 
thefe Writers dafli upon the old Rock, the 
Impoffibility of explaining the Deluge ^ if 
there were Mountains from the Beginning5and 
the Earth then in the fame Form as it is in now. 
Thirdly, They make the State of Paradlfe as 
unintelligible as that of the Deluge ; Fot 
thofe Properties that are aflign'd to Faradife 
by the Ancients, are inconfiftent with the pre* 
fent Form of the Earth : As will appear in the 
Second Book. Laftly, They muft anfwer, 
and give an Account of all thofe Marks which 
we have obferv'd in Nature (both in this 
Chapter, and the Ninth, Tenth;, and Ele- 

CI a venth,) 

i 2 8 The Theory of the Earth; 
venth,) of Fractions, Ruins^ and Dilfolutions 
that have been on the Earth, and which we 
have fhewn to be inexplicable, unlefs we ad- 
mit that the Earth was once in another Form, 

Thefe Arguments being premis'd, let us 
now bring their Opinion clofe to the Teft, and 
fee in what manner thefe Mountains muft have 
been made according to them, and how the 
Channel of the Sea, and all other Cavities of 
the Earth. Let us to this purpofe confider 
the Earth again in that tranfient incompleat 
Form which it had when the Abyfs encompaft 
the whole Body of it. Fig. 2. p. 76. we both 
agree that the Earth was once in this State, 
and they fay that it came immediately out of 
this State into its prefent Form, there being 
made by a fupernatural Power a great Chan- 
nel or Ditch in one part of it, which drew off 
the Waters from the reft, and the Earth which 
was fqueez'd and forc'doutof thisDitch,made 
the Mountains. So there is the Channel of 
the Sea made, and the Mountains of the 
Earth ^ how the fubterraneous Cavities were 
made according to thefe Authors, I do not 
well know. This I confefs feems to me a ve- 
ry grofs Thought, and a way of working ve- 
ry fun-God- like; but however let's have Pa- 
tience to examine it. 

And in the firft Place, if the Mountains 
were taken out of the Channel of the Sea, 
then they are equal to it, and would fill it up 
if they were thrown in again. But thefe Pro- 
portions upon Examination will not agree ; for 
though the Mountains of the Ev rch be very 

I great. 

The Deluge and DiJJolnt:on of the Earth. 219 
great, yet they do not equal by much the 
great Ocean. The Ocean extends to half the 
Surface of the Earth ; and if you fuppofe the 
greateft Depth of the Ocean to anfwer the 
Height of the greateft Mountains, and the 
middle Depth to the middle fort of Moun- 
tains, the Mountains ought to cover all the 
dry Land to make them anfwer to all the Ca- 
pacity of the Ocean j whereas we fappos'd 
them upon a reafonable Computation to cover 
but the tenth part of the dry Land j and con- 
fequently, neither they, nor the Sea- channel, 
could have been produc'd in this manner, be- 
caufe of their great Difproportion to one ano- 
ther. And the fame thing appears, if we 
compare the Mountains with the Abyfs, 
ivhich cover'd the Earth before this Chan- 
nel w^as made ; for this Channel being made 
great enough to contain all the Abyfs, the 
Mountains taken out of it muft alfo be equal 
to all the Abyfs J but the aggregate of the 
Mountains will not anfwer this by many De- 
grees ; for fuppofe the Abyfs was but half as 
deep as the deep Ocean, to make this Calcu- 
lus anfwer, all the dry Land ought to be co- 
ver'd with Mountains, and with Mountains as 
high as the Ocean is deep, or doubly high to 
the Depth of the Abyfs, becaufe they are but 
upon one half of the Globe. And this is the 
firft Argument againft the Reciprocal Produc- 
tion of Mountains and the Sea, their Incon- 
gruency or Difproportion. 

Seco^idly, we are to confider that a great 
many Mountains of the Earth are far diftant 

Ci 3 from 

230 The Theorj of the Earth. 
from any Seas, as the great In-land Mountains 
of Afiaz.nd oi Afrkk^znd the Sar?/iatick Moun- 
tains, and others in Europe ; how were thefe 
great Bodies flung thorough the Air from their 
refpedive Seas, whence they were taken, to 
thofe Places where they ftand ? What Ap- 
pearance is there in common Reafon, or Cre- 
dibility, that thefe huge Maffes of Earth and 
Stone, that ftand in the middle of Continents., 
were dug out of any Seas ? We think it 
ftrange, and very defervedly, that a little 
Chapel fliould be tranfported from Valeft'me to 
Italy over Land and Sea, much more the Tranf- 
portation of Mount Atlas or Tamw thorough 
the Air, or of a Range of Mountains two or 
three thoufand Miles long, would furely up- 
on all Accounts appear incongruous and in- 
credible : Befides, neither the hollow Form 
of Mountains, nor the ftony Matter whereof 
they commonly confift, agrees with that Suppo- 
fition, that they were preft or taken out of the 
Channel of the Sea. 

La illy, we are to confider that the Moun- 
tains are not barely laid upon the Earth, as a 
Tomb-ftone upon a Grave, nor ftand as Sta- 
tues do upon a Pedeftal, as this Opinion feems 
to fuppofe j but they are one continued Sub- 
ftance with the Body of the Earth, and their 
Roots reach into the Abyfs ; as the Rocks by 
the Sea-fide go as deep as the bottom of the 
Sea in one continued Mafs: And 'tis a ridicu- 
lous thing to imagine the Earth firfl: a plain 
Surface, then all the Mountains fet upon it, as 
Hay-cocks in a Fields ftanding upon their flat 


Tl.^e Deluge and BiJJblution of the Earth. 231 
bottoms. There is no fiich common Surflice in 
Nature, nor confequently any fuch Super-ad- 
ditions: 'Tis all one Frame or Mafs, only 
broken and disjointed in the Parts of it. To 
conclude, 'Tis not only the Mountains that 
make the Inequalities of the Earth, or the Ir- 
regularity of its Surface, every Country, e- 
very Province, every Field hath an unequal 
and different Situation, higher or lower, in- 
clined more or lefs, and fometimes one way, 
fometimes another, you can fcarce take a Mile's 
Compafs in any Place where the Surface of 
the Ground continues uniform ^ and can you 
imagine that there were Moulds or Stones 
brought from the Sea-channel to make all 
thofe Inequalities ? Or that Earthquakes have 
been in every County, and in every Field ? 
The inner Veins and Lares, the Beds or Strata 
of the Earth are alfo broken as well as the Sur- 
face. Thefe muft proceed from univerfal Caufes ; 
and all thofe that have been alledg'd, whether 
from Philofophy or Theology, are but parti- 
cular or topical. I am fully fatisfied, in Con- 
templation of thefe Things, and fo I think 
every unprejudiced Perfon may be, that to 
fuch an irregular Variety of Situation and 
Conftrudion, as we fee every where in the 
Parts of the Earth, nothing could anfwer but 
fome univerfal Concullion or Diflocation, in 
the Nature of a general Ruin. 

We have now finiih'd this firfl: Part of our 
Theory, and all that concerns the Deluge or 
Diilblution of the Earth ; and we have not 
only eflablilh'd our own Hypothefu by pofitive 

Q 4 Arguments, 

,j 3 2 The Theory of the Earths 
/VrgumentSj but alfo produc'd and examin'd 
all Sixppofitions that have been ofFer'd by 
.others, whether philofophical or theologicala 
for the Explication of the fame Thmgs ; fo as 
nothing feenis now to reriiain further upon thi$ 
Subjefl:, For a Concjufion of all, we will 
confider, if you pleafe, the reft of the Earths, 
or of the Planets within our Heavens, that apr 
pertain to the fame common Sun ,♦ to fee, fo 
far as we can go by rational Conjedures, if 
they be not of the fame Fabrick, and have un- 
dergone the like Fate, and Forms with our 
Earth. It is now acknowledg'd by the gene- 
rality of learned Men, that the Planets are 
opake Bodies,and particularly our next Neigh- 
bour, the Moon, is known to be a terraquer 
DiJS Globe, confifting of Mountains and Valr 
leys, as our Earth does ; and we have no Rea- 
fon to believe but that fiie came into that 
Form by a Diffolution, or from like Caufes, as 
pur Earth did. Mercury is fo near the Sun, 
that we cannot well difcern his Face, whether 
fpotted or no, nor make a Judgment of it^ 
But as fqr Venus^ and Marx, if the Spots that 
be obferv'd in tliem be their Waters or their 
Sea, as they are in the Moon, 'tis likely they 
^re Alfo terraqueous Globes, and in much 
what a like Form with the Moon and the 
Earth, and, for ought we know, from like 
Caufes. Particularly as to Vemis\ 'tis a re- 
rnarkable Paflage that St. Auftin (J)e CH\ Dei^ 
lib, 21, c. 8.) hath preferv'd out of Varro : He 
faithj That abc/iU the time of the great Deluge 
f^re W(^^ (I wonderful Alteration or Catafropfje 


The Deluge and DiJJolution of the Earth. 233 
happened to the Planet Venus, and that Jhe 
changd her Colour^ Form^ Figure^ and Mag- 
nitude, This is a great Prefuniption that flie 
fuffer'd her Diffolution about the fame time 
that our Earth did. I do not know that any 
fuch Thing is recorded concerning any of the 
other Planets, but the Body of 'Nlar^ looks ve- 
ry rugged, broken, and much diforder'd. 

Saturn and 'Jupiter deferve a diftindt Confi- 
deration, as having fomething particular and 
different from the reft of the Planets ; Saturn 
is remarkable for his Hoop or Ring, which 
feems to ftand off^ or higher than his Body, 
and would ftrongly induce one to believe, that 
the exterior Earth of that Planet, at its Diffo- 
lution, did not all fall in, but the polar Parts 
/inking into the Abyfs, the middle or acqui- 
nodial Parts ftill fubfifted, and bore themfelves 
up in the Nature of an Arch about the Planet, 
or of a Bridge, as it were, built over the Sea 
of Saturn. And as fome have obferv'd con- 
cerning the Figure of Jupiter ^ that it is. not 
wholly Spherical, but a Spheroid, protube- 
rant in the ^Equator, and deprefs'd towards 
the Poles : So 1 fhould fufpeft Saturn to have 
been much more fo, before his Difruption : 
Namely, That the Body of that Planet, in its 
iSrft State, was more flat and low towards the 
Poles, and alfo weaker and thinner ^ and about 
the Equator higher, fuller and ftronger built : 
By reafon of which Figure and Conftrudion 
the Polar Parts did moreeafily fldl in, or were 
fucktin (as Cupping Glafles drav/ in the Fleili) 
^vhen tlie Abyfs below grew more empty. 


2 34 ^^^ Theory of the Earth. 

Whereas the middle parts about the ^quator> 
being a more juft Arch and ftrongly built, 
would not yield or fink, but flood firm and 
unbroken, and continues ftill in its firft Pof- 
ture. Planets break in different ways, accord- 
ing to the Quality of their Matter, the man- 
ner of their Conftrudion, and the nature of 
the Caufes that a(S upon them. Their Diffo- 
lutions are fometimes total, as in our Earth, 
fometimes partial : and both of thefe may be 
under great Variety. In partial Diffolutions, 
the middle Parts fometimes ftand, and the 
Polar are broke : or the Polar ftand, and the 
middle are broke. Or one Hemifphere, or 
part of an Hemifphere may be funk, the reft 
{landing. There may be Caufes and Occa- 
fions for all thefe Varieties and many more, in 
diverfifying the Phenomena of an immenfe U- 
niverfe. But to return to Saturn. 

That this prefent uncouth Form of Saturn 
was not its Original Form, I am very well fa- 
tisfied,if that Planet rofe from a Chaos, as ours 
did. And if this be an adventitious Form, 
I know no Account can be given of it with 
more Probability, than by fuppofing it the Ef- 
feft of fome Fraction or Difruption in the Polar 
Parts. Neither do I know any Phsenomenon 
hitherto obferv'd concerning Saturn^ that does 
difprove this Hypothejis or Conjedure. 

As to Jupiter^ that Planet without doubt 
is alfo turn'd about its Axis, otherwife how 
fliould its four Moons be carried round him ? 
And this is alfo collcded from the Motion of 
that permanent Spot (if it be found to be fo) 


The Deluge and Diffolution of the Earth. 235 
that is upon its Body. Which Spot I take to 
be either a Lake^ or a Chafm and Hiatus into 
the Abyfs of the Planet: That is, part of the 
Abyfs open or nncover'd, like the Aperture 
we made in the Seventh Figure, Chap. 6. f. 1 84. 
And this might either have been left fo by 
Providence, at firft, for fome Reafons and 
Caufes fitting that Earth : or it may have 
fallen in afterwards, as Tlatos Atlantis^ or as 
Sodom and Gomorrha^ for fome Judgment up- 
on part of that World. 

To conclude. Seeing all the Planets that are 
plac'd in this Heaven, and are the Fofler-chil- 
dren of this Sun, feem to have fome Affini- 
ty one with another, and have much what the 
fame Countenance, and the fame general Fh^^ 
noviena ^ it feems probable that they rife much 
what the fame way, and after the like man- 
ner as our Earth, each one froni its refpedlive 
Chaos ; And that they had the fame Elemen- 
tary Regions at firft , and an exterior Orb 
form'd over their Abyfs: And laftly. That 
every one of them hath fuffer'd, or is to fuf- 
fer its Deluge, as our Earth hath done. Thefe, 
I fay, are probable Conjecftures according to 
the Analogy of Reafon and Nature, fo far as 
we can judge concerning things very remote 
and inacceflible. 

And thefe Things being thus, and our The- 
ory of the Deluge, and the Diffolution which 
brought it, having fuch a general Agreement 
both with our Heavens and our Earth, I think 
there is nothing but the Uncouthnefs of the 
thing to fome Men's Underftandings, the 


2^6 The Theory of the Earth.' 
Cuftom of thinking otherwife, and the Un- 
eafinefs of entring into a new fet of Thoughts, 
that can be a Ear or Hindrance to its Recep- 
tion. But it may be improv'd, I doubt not, 
in many Refpefts, and in fome Particularities 
re<fdfied. The firfl: Attempts in great Things 
are feldom or never perfevS : Such is the 
Weaknefs of our Underftandings , and the 
want of a full Natural Hiftory. And in af- 
figning Caufes of fuch great Efteds, fair Con- 
jeftures are to be allow'd, till they be difplac'd 
by others more evident and more certain. 
Accordingly I readily fubmit to thefe Terms, 
and leave this^ and all other Parts of the The- 
ory, to further Examination and Enquiries, 





Book II. 

Concerning the Primaeval Earth, and 

concerning Taradife. 

C H A p. I. 

The JntYodu5lion and Contents of the Second 
Book. The general State of the Pmiieval 
Earthy and of Paradife. 

E have already feen a World be- 
gin and perifh ; an Earth rais'd 
from the Rudiments of a Chaos, 
and difTolv'd and deftroyM in 
an Univerfal Deluge. We have 



238 The Theory of the Earth: 
given alfo an imperfed Defcription of that 
Primeval Earth, fo far as was neceffary to fliew 
the Caufes and Manner of its Diflblution. But 
we muft not content our felves with this; 
Seeing that Earth was the firft Theatre upon 
which Mortals appear'd and aded, and conti- 
nued fo for above fixteen hundred Years ; and 
that with Scenes, as both Reafon and Hiftory 
tell us, very extraordinary and very different 
from thefe of our prefent Earth, 'tis reafona- 
ble we fliould endeavour to make a more full 
Difcovery and Defcription of it ,• efpecially 
feeing Paradife was there ; that Seat of Plea- 
fure which our firft Parents loft, and which all 
their Pofterity have much ado to find again. 

In the Firft Book we fo far defcrib'd this 
new-found World, as to fliew it very diffe- 
rent in Form and Fabrick from the prefent 
Earth , there was no Sea there, no Mountains, 
nor Rocks, nor broken Caves, 'twas all one 
continued and regular Mafs, fmooth, fimple 
and compleat, as the firft Works of Nature 
ufe to be. But to know thus much only,doth ra- 
ther excite our Curiofity than fatisfy it j what 
were the other Properties of this World ? 
How were the Heavens, how the Elements ? 
What Accommodation for Human Life ? Why 
was it more proper to be the Seat of Paradife 
than the prefent Earth ? Unlefs we know 
thefe Things, you will fay, it will feem but 
an aery Idea to us ; and 'tis certain that the 
more Properties and Particularities that we 
know concerning any things the more real it 
appears to be. 


Concerning the Vrlm. Earth and Paradife, 239 
As it was our chief Defign therefore in the 
precedent Book, to give an Account of the 
Univerfal Deluge, by way of a Theory ,• fo 
we propofe to our felves chiefly in this Book, 
from the fame Theory to give an Account of 
Paradife ; and in performing of this, we fhall 
be led into a more full Examination and Dif- 
play of that firft Earth, and of its Qualities. 
And if we be fo happy, as, bytheCondudof the 
fame Principles and the fame Method, to give 
as fair an Account, and as intelligible of the 
State of Paradife in that Original Earth, as we 
have done of the Deluge by the Diflblution 
of it, and of the Form of this Earth which 
fucceeded, one muft be very morofe or me- 
lancholy to imagine that the grounds we go 
upon, all this while, are wholly falfe or fidi- 
tious. A Foundation which will bear the 
Weight of two Worlds without finking, muft 
furely ftand upon a firm Rock. And I am apt 
to promife my felf that this Theory of the 
Earth will find Acceptance and Credit, more 
or lefs, with all but thofe, that think it a fuf- 
ficient Anfwer to all Arguments, to fay /'/ is a 

But to proceed in our Difquifition concern- 
ing Paradife^ we may note, in the firft Place, 
two Opinions to be avoided, being both ex- 
treams ; one that placeth Paradife in the 
extra-mundane Regions, or in the Air, or in 
the Moon j and the other that makes it fo in- 
confiderable, as to be confin'd to a little Spot 
of Ground in Mefopota?nia ^ or fome other 
Country of Jfia^ tiie Earth being now as it 

I was 

^2/^6 The Theory of the E a r t h: 
was then. This offends as much in the t)e- 
feit, as the other in the Excels. For it is not 
any fingle Region of the Earth that can be 
Taradifiacal^ unlefs all Nature confpire, and a 
certain Order of Things proper and peculiar 
for that State. Nor is it of lefs Importance 
to find out this peculiar Order of Things, than 
to find out the particular Seat of Paradife^ but 
rather pre-requifite to it : We will endeavour 
therefore to difcover and determine both^fofar 
as a Theory can go, beginning with that which 
is more general. 

'Tis certain there were fome Qualities and 
Conditions of Paradife that were not meerly 
topical, but common to all the reft of the 
Earth at that time , and thefe we muft confi- 
derin the firft Place, examine what they were, 
and upon what they depended. Hiftory, both 
Sacred and Profme, muft tell us what they 
were, and our Theory muft Ihew us upon 
what Caufes they depended. I had once, 
I confefs, propos'd to my felf another Method, 
independent upon Hiftory or Effeds ; I thought 
to have continued the Defcription of the Pri- 
mitive or Antediluvian Earth from the Con- 
templation of its Caufes only, and then left 
it to the Judgment of others to determine, 
whether that was not the Earth where the 
Golden Age was paft, and where Paradife 
flood. For I had obferv'd three Conditions 
or Charaders of it, which I thought were 
fufficient to anfwer all that we knew concern- 
ing that firft State of Things, viz. The Regu- 
larity of its Surface ', The Situation or Pofture of 


Concerning the Frivt.Earth J andParadife, 241 
its Body to the Sun; and the Figure of it : From 
thefe three general Caiifes I thought might 
be deduc'd all the chief Differences of that 
Earth from the prefent, and particularly thofe 
that made it more capable of being Paradiji- 

But upon fecond Thoughts I judg'd it more 
ufeful and expedient to lay afide the Caufes 
at prefent, and begin with the Effeds, that 
we might have fome fenfible Matter to work 
upon. Bare Ideas of Things are lookt upon 
as Romantick till Effeds be propos'd, where- 
of they are to give an Account j 'Tis that 
makes us value the Caufes when Neceffity 
puts us upon Enquiry after them ; and the 
Reafons of things are very acceptable, when 
they eafe the Mind, anxious, and at a lofs 
how to underftand Nature without their help. 
We will therefore, without more ado, pre- 
mife thofe things that have been taken notice 
of as extraordinary and peculiar to the firft 
Ages of the World, and to Paradife^ and which 
neither do, nor can, obtain in the prefeilt Earth ; 
whereof the iirft is a perpetual Spring or Equi- 
nox i the fecond, the Long<sn)itj of Animals ; 
and the thirds their Production out of the Earthy 
and the great Fertility of tha Soil in all other 

Thefe Difficulties guard the way to Para- 
dife like the flaming Sword, and muft be re- 
moved before we can enter ; thefe are general 
Preliminaries which we muft explain before 
we proceed to enquire after the particular place 
of this Garden of Pleafure. The Ancients 

Book II. R have 

24^ The Theory of the Earth. 
have taken Notice of all thefe in the firft Ages 
of the World, or in their Golden Age^ as they 
call it i and I do not doubt but what they a- 
fcribe to the Golden Age, was more remark- 
ably true of Paradife; yet was not fo peculiar 
to it, but that it did in a good Meafure extend 
to other Parts of the Earth at that time. And 
'tis manifeft that their Golden Age was con- 
temporary with our Paradife; for they make 
it begin immediately after the Produftion and 
Inhabitation of the Earth (which they, as well 
as MofeSy raife from the Chaos) and to dege- 
nerate by degrees till the Deluge ; when the 
World ended and begun again. 

That this Parallel may the better appear, 
we may obferve, that as we fay that the whole 
Earth was, in fome Senfe, Paradifiacal in the 
firft Ages of the World, and that there was, 
befides, one Region or Portion of it that was 
peculiarly fo, and bore the Denomination of 
Paradife i So the Ancients, befide their Gold- 
en Age, which was common to all the Earth, 
noted fome Parts of it that were more Golden, 
if I may fo fayjthan the reft,and which did more 
particularly anfwer to Paradife y as their Elyfi- 
rt« Fields, Fortunate Iflands, Gardens of Hef- 
ferides^ Jlci?20ifs^ (^c. thefe had a double Por- 
tion of Pleafantnefs, and, befide the Advan- 
tages which they had common with the reft of 
the Earth at that tim.e, had fomething proper 
and fingular, which gave them a diftind Con- 
fideration and Charader from the reft. 

Having made this Obfervation, let us pro- 
ceed, and fee vAut Antiquity faith^ concerning 


Concerning the Tr'm. Earthy andParadife. a^j 
that firft and Paradifiacal State of things, upon 
thofe three Heads forementioned ; Firft, that 
there was a perpetual Spring, and conftant Se- 
renity of the Air. This is often repeated by 
the Ancient Poets, in their Defcription of the 
Golden Age. 

Non alios pmm crefcentis origine miindi 
llluxiffe diesy alium've habuiffe tenorem^ 
Crediderim : Ver illtid erat^ Ver magnm agebat 
Orbis^ (J' hybernis parcebant flatibus Euri, 


Such Days the new-born Earth enjofd of old. 
And the cabiHea'vens in this fa?ne Tenor rowFd: 
All the great World had then one conftant Springs 
No cold Eaft'Winds^ fuch as our Winters bring. 

For I interpret this in the fame Senfe with 
O'^Sid^ Verfes of the Golden Age : 

Ver erat A^ter7ium : placidique tepentibm auris 
Mulcebant Zephyri natos fine femine flores. 

The Spring was conftant^ and foft Winds that 


Rais'd^ without Seedy Flow'rs always fweet and 


And then upon the Expiratiofl of the Gol- 
den AgCj he faysj 

Jupiter antiqui contraxit temfora Verisy &cc* 

R 2 When 

H4 T^^'^^ Theory of the Ear t h: 

JVben.Jove.begunto reign^ he chang'd the Tear^ 
And for one Spring four Seafons made appear. 
vd bsi;v 

^rhe Ancients fappos'd, that in the Reign af 
Saturn^ who was an Antediluvian God, as I 
may fo call him. Time flow'd with a more 
even Motion, and there was no Diverfity of 
Seafons in the Year ,• but Jupiter, they fay, 
firft introduc'd that, when he came to manage 
Affiiirs. This is expreft after their way, who 
feldom give any fevere and Philofophical Ac- 
counts of the Changes of Nature. And as 
they fuppos'd this perpetual Spring in the Gold- 
en Age, fo they did alfo in their particular E- 
lyjiums ; as I could fliew largely from their Au- 
thors, if it would not multiply Citations too 
much. 'Tis true, their Ehfiums refpeded the 
new Heavens, and new Earth to come, ra- 
ther than the paft ; but they are both fram'd 
upon the Hime Model, and have common Pro- 

The Chriftian Authors have no lefs cele- 
brated the perpetual Spring and Serenity of 
the Heavens in Paradife ; fuch Expreflions or 
Defcriptions you will find in Juftin Martyr^ 
S. Bafil^ Damafcen^ Ifidore Hifpalenjisj Ve Graf, 
prim, hojn. and others, infomuch that BcU 
larmine^ I remember, refle(fting upon thofe 
Chara<a:ers of Paradife^ which many of the 
Fathers have given in thefe Refpeds, faith. 
Such Things could not be, unlefs the Sun had 
then. another Courfe from what he hath now; 
or which is more eafy, the Earth another Situ- 

Concerning the Trim. Earthy and Paradife. 5^-45 
ation. Which Conjedure will hereafter ap- 
pear to have been vv^ll grounded. In the 
mean time, let us fee the Chriftian Poetry up^ 
on this Subjeift, as we have feen the 'Rdmcin 
upon the other, Akimm A^itus hath thusde- 
fcrib'd Paradife in his Notes upon Genefu-: ' ■ 

Non hie alterni [ticcedit temporif unquam 
Bruma^ nee ^^ftivi redeunt poft frigora Soles y 
WcVer aJJidtmmCocli dementia ferDat: '■ ^ 
Ttirbidtis Atifler abefty fe?nperque ftib aere ftido- 
JMubila diffiigimty jugi ceffura [ereno. 
-Nee pojcit Natura locij qnos non habet^ imbres^ 
Sed cojitenta fuo dotanttir germina rore. 
Per pet HO "viret ojnne [olmty terraque benign^ 
Blanda nitet fades : Stant femper collibus herb^^ 
Arboribufque conicc^ (jc. 

No Change ofSeafons or Excef was there ^ 
No Winter chiWdy nor Summer fcorch'd the Air^^ 
But^ with a conftant Springs Nature wasfrejh{ 

{and fair. 

Plough Winds or Rains that Region riever knew^ 
Watered with Ri'vers and the Morning Dew ^ 
The Hea^vns ftill clear ^ the Fields fill green and 

No Clouds abo^e^ nor on the Earth decay ,• 
Trees kept their Lea'ves and Verdure all the Tcar^ 
And Fruits were iic'ver out of Seafon there. 

And as the Chriftian Authors, fo likewife the 
\fewiflj have fpoken of Paradife in the Hinie 
manner ; they tell us alfo that the Days there 
were always of the fame Length throughout 
" R 3 the 

245 The Theory of the Earth; 
the whole Year j and that made 'em fancy Para^ 
dife to lie under the ^quinoftial ; as we fiiall 
fee in its due Place. 'Tis true, we do not find 
thefe things mention'd exprefly in the Sacred 
Writings, but the Effefts that flow'd from 'em 
are recorded there, and we may reafonably 
fuppofe Providence to have forefeen, that when 
thofe Effeds came to be fcan'd and narrowly 
lookt into, they would lead us to a Difcovery 
of the Caufes, and particularly of this great 
and general Caufe, that perpetual j£quinox and 
Unity of Seafons in the Year, till the Deluge. 
The Longsevity of the Antediluvians cannot 
be explain'd upon any other Suppofition, as 
we ihallhaveOccafion tofhow hereafter j and 
that you know is recorded carefully in Scrip- 
ture : As alfo that there was no Rainbow be- 
fore the Flood j which goes upon the fame 
Ground, that there was no Variety of Sea- 
fons, nor any Rain : And this by many is 
thought to be underftood by Mofes's Words, 
Gen, 2. 5, 5. which he fpeaks of the firft and 
Paradifiacal Earth. Laftly, Seeing the Earth 
then brought forth the Principles of Life and 
all Living Creatures (Man excepted) accord- 
ing to mofes^ Gen. i. 24. we muft fuppofe 
that the State of the Heavens was fuch as fa- 
vour'd thefe Conceptions and Births, which 
could not poflibly be brought to Perfection, as 
the Seafons of the Year are at prefent. The 
firft time that we have mention made in Scrip- 
ture of Summer and Winter, and the Diffe- 
rences of Seafons, is at the ending of the De- 
luge, Ge?u 8. 22. Hence forward all the Days 


Concerning the Prh/i, Earthy and Paradife, 247 
of the Earthy Seed-time andHa^veft^ Heat a?id 
Coldy Summer andWifiter^ Day and Night JJjall 
not ceafe. 'Tis true thefe Words are fo lax, 
that they may be underftood either of a new 
Courfe of Nature then inftituted, or of an 
old one reftor'd ; but feeing it doth appear from 
other Arguments and Conliderations, that there 
was at that time a new Courfe of Nature con- 
ftituted, it is more reafonable to interpret the 
Words in that Senfe ; which, as it is agreea- 
ble to Truth, according to Reafon and Anti- 
quity j fo it renders that Remark of Mofes of 
far greater Importance, if it be underflood as 
an Indication of a new Order then fettled in 
Nature, which fliould continue henceforwards 
fo long as the Earth endur'd. Nor do I at all 
wonder that fuch things fhould not be expref- 
ly and pofitively declared in Scripture j for Na- 
tural Myfteries in the Holy Writings, as well 
as Prophetical, are many times, on fet Purpofe, 
incompleatly delivered, fo as to awaken and 
excite our Thoughts rather than fully refolve 
them : This being often more fuitable to the 
Defigns of Providence in the Government of 
the World. Butthus much for this firft common 
or general Charader of the Golden Age, and 
of Paradife^ a perpetual Serenity and perpetual 

The fecond Charader is the Longsevity of 
Men, and, as is probable, of all other Ani- 
mals in Proportion. This, methinks, is as 
ftrange and furprizing as the other ^ and I 
know no Difference betwixt the Antediluvian 
World and the prefent fo apt to affect us, if 

R 4 we 

2 48 T'he Theory of the E a r t h. 
we refled upon it, as this wonderful Difpro- 
portion in the Ages of Men ; our Forefathers 
and their Pofterity : They liv'd feven, eight, 
nine hundred Years and upwards, and 'tis a 
wonder now if a Man live to one hundred. 
Our Oaks do not laft fo long as their Bodies 
did. Stone and Iron would fcarce outwear 
them. And this Property of the firfl: Ages, or 
their Inhabitants, how ftrange foever, is well 
attefted, and beyond all Exception, having 
the joint Confent of Sacred and Profane Hif- 
tory. The Scripture fets down the precife 
Age of a Series of Antedikivian Patriarchs, 
and by that meafures the Time from the begin- 
ning of the World to the Deluge^ fo as all 
Sacred Chronology ftands upon that bottom. 
Yet I know fome have thought this fo impro- 
bable and incongruous a thing, that to fave 
the Credit of Mofes and the Sacred Hiflory, 
they interpret thefe Years of Lunar Y'ears or 
Months^ and fo the Ages of thefe Patriarchs 
are reduc'd to much what the fame meafure 
with the common Life of Man at this time. 
It may be obferv'd in this, as in many other 
Inftances, that for want of a Theory to make 
Things credible and intelligible, Men of Wit 
and Parts have often depreft the Senfe of Scrip- 
ture ; and that not out of any ill Will to Scrip- 
ture or Religion, but becaufe they could not 
otherwife, upon the Stock of their Notions, 
give themfelves a rational Account of Things 
recorded there. But I hope wiien we come to 
explain the Caufes of this Longa:vity, we fliall 
|liev7 that it is altogether as ftrange a Thing 

Concevning the Trim. Earthy a?idParadife. 249 
that Men {hould have luch fnort Lives as-they 
have now^ as that they had fuch long Lives 
in the firft Ages of the World. In the mean 
time, there are a great many collateral Rea- 
fons to aflure us that Lunar Years cannot be 
here underfcood by TS/lofes., for all Antiquity 
gives the fame Account of thofe firft Ages of 
the World, and of the firft. Men, that they 
were extreamly long-liv'd. We meet with it 
generally in the Defcription of the Golden 
Age 'y and not only fo, but in their Topical 
Paradifes alfo they always fqppos'd a great 
Vivacity or Longevity in thofe that enjoy'd 
them. And JofephifS^ fpeaking upon thi's Sub- 
jeft. Book I. Ch. 4. Jew. Ant, faith, the Au- 
thors of all the Learned Nations, Greeks or 
Barhariarifj bare Witnefs to Mofes's Dodrine 
in this particular. And in the MofaicalHidO' 
ry it felf, there are feveral Circumftances and 
Marks that difcover plainly, that the Y^arsof 
the Patriarchs cannot be underftood of Lunar 
Years j as we fliall have Occafion to iliow in 
another Place. We proceed in the mean time 
to the third and laft Charader, The extraordi- 
nary Fertility of the Soil, and the Production of 
Animals out of the new made Earth. 

The firft part of this Charader is unquef- 
tionable,- All Antiquity (peaks of the Plenty 
of the Golden Age, and of their Taradifes^ 
whether Chriftian or Heathen. The Fruits 
of the Earth at firft were fpontaneous, and the 
Ground, without being torn and tormented, 
fatisfied the Wants or Defires of Man. When 
Nature was frelli and full, all things flow'd 


'250 The Theory of the E a r t h. 

from her more eafily and more pure, like the 
firft running of the Grape^or the Honey-comb; 
but now flie muft be preft and fqueez'd, 
and her Produdions tafte more of the Earth 
and of Bitternefs. The ancient Poets have 
often pleas'd themfelves in making Defcrip- 
tions of this happy State, and in admiring the 
Riches and Liberality of Nature at that time ,* 
but we need not tranfcribe their Poetry here, 
feeing this Point is not, I think, contefted by 
any. The fecond Part of this Charader, con- 
cerning the fpontaneous Origin of Living Crea- 
tures out of tliat firft Earth, is not fo unquef- 
tionable; and as to Man, Mofes plainly implies 
that there was a particular Adiion or Minifte- 
ry of Providence in the Formation of his Body ; 
but as to other Animals, he feems to fuppofe 
that the Earth brought them forth as it did 
Herbs and Plants. (Gen, i. 24, compared with 
the nth Verfe.) And the Truth is, there is 
no fuch great Difference betwixt Vegetable 
and Animal Eggs, or betwixt the Seeds out of 
which Plants rife, and the Eggs out of which 
all Animals rife, but that we may conceive, 
the one as well as the other, in the firft Earth ; 
And as fome Warmth and Influence from the 
Sun is required for the Vegetation of Seeds, fo 
that Influence or Impregnation, which isnecef- 
fary to make Animal Eggs fruitful, was im- 
puted by the Ancients to the Aither^ or to an 
aftive and pure Element which had the fame 
Effeift upon our great Mother the Earth, as 
the Irradiation of the Male hath upon the Fe- 
males Eggs. 


Concerning the Prhn. Earthy and Paradife, 2 j i 

Twn Pater O?n?iipotens fcecundis imbribus j^Ether 
Conjugis in gremiiim ldt(e defcendit. 

In fruitful Show'rs of ^ther Jove did glide 
Into the Bofom of his joyful Bride. 

'Tis true, this Opinion of the fpontancous 
Origin of Animals in the firfi Earth hath lain 
under fome Odnan^ becaufe it was common- 
ly reckon'd to be Epicurus' s Opinion peculiar- 
ly ,• and he extended it not only to all brute 
Creatures, but to Mankind alfo, whom he 
fuppos'd to grow out of the Earth in great 
numbers, in feveral Parts and Countries, like 
other Animals j which is a Notion contrary to 
the Sacred Writings,- for they declare, that 
all Mankind, though diffus'd now through the 
feveral Parts and Regions of the Earth, rofe 
at firfl: from one Head or lingle Man or Wo- 
man ,• which is a Conclufion of great Impor- 
tance, and that could not, I think, by the 
Light of Nature, have ever been difcover'd. 
And this makes the Epicurian Opinion the more 
improbable, for why fhould two rife only, if 
they fprung from the Earth ? or how could 
they rife in their full Growth and Perfedion, 
as Adajn andEi?^ did ? But as for the Opinion 
of Animals rifing out of the Earth at firft, that 
was not at all peculiar to Epicurus-, The Stoicks 
were of the fame Mind, and the Pythagorean^^ 
and the jEgyptians^znd^l think^all that fuppos'd 
the Earth to rife Irom a Chaos. Neither do 
I know any harm in that Opinion, if duly li- 

2 5^ The Theory of the E a r t h. 
niited and ftated ; for what Inconvenience is 
it, o vvh<at Diminution of Providence, that 
there fliould be the Principles of Life, as well 
as the Principles of Vegetation, in the new 
Earth? And unlefs you fuppofe all the firft 
Animals, as . welll as the firft Man, to have 
been made at one ftroke, in their full Growth 
and Perfection, which we have neither Reafon 
nor Authority fufficient to believe ; if they 
were made young, little and weak, as they 
come now into the World, there feems to be 
no way for their Produdion more proper, and 
decorous, than that they fliould fjpring from 
their great .Mother the Earth. Laftly, confi- 
dering the innumerable little Creatures that 
are upon the Earth, Infeds and creeping things^ 
and that thefe were not created out of nothing, 
but form'd out of the Ground: I think that 
an Office moft proper for Nature, that can fet 
fo many Hands to work at once j and that hath 
Hands fit for all thofe little Operations or Ma- 
nufactures, how fmall foevjer,: that would lefs 
become the Dignity of Superiour Agents. 

Thus much for the Preliminaries, or three 
general Charaders of Paradife^ which were 
common to it with the reft of the Primaeval 
Earth ; and were the chief Ingredients of the 
Golden Age, fo much celebrated by the An- 
cients. I know there were feveral other Dif- 
ferences betwixt that Earth and this j but thefe 
are the Original , and fuch as are not necefTary 
to be premis'd for the general Explication of 
jraYddife^ we referve for another Place. We 
may in the mean time obferve^ how prepof- 


Concerning the Vrhn. 'Earthy and Paradife. 25 5 
terOufly they go to work, that fet themfclves 
inimediately to find out fome pleafant Place 
of the Earth to fix Paradife in, before they 
have confider'd, or laid any Grounds, to ex- 
plain the general Conditions of it, wherefoe- 
ver it was. Thefe muft be firfl: known and de- 
termin'd, and we muft take our Aim and Di- 
rections from thefe, how to proceed further 
in our Enquiries after it^ otherwife we fail 
without a Compafsj or feek a Port and know 
not which way it lies. And as we fliould 
think him a very unskilful Pilot that fought a 
Place in the new World, or Atnerica^ that real- 
ly was in the old ; fo they commit no lefs an 
Error, that feek Paradife in the prefent Earth, 
as now conftituted, which could only belong 
to the former, and to the State of the firfl 
World ; As will appear more plainly in the 
following Chapter. 

Chap. II. 

The great Change of the World fincc the Flood 
from what itzms in the firfl Ages. The Earth. 
luider its p-e[e?rt Form could not be Paradifiacal, 
7ior any Part of it, 

THE Scheme of this World pajfeth away^ 
faith an Holy Author : The Mode and 
Form, both of the Natural and Civil 
World changeth continually more or lefs, but 
moft remarkably at certain Periods, when all 
Nature puts on another Face, as it will do at 
the Conflagration^ and hath done already from 


2 54 ^^^ Theory of the E a r t h.' 
the time of the Deluge. We may imagine 
how different a Profpec^ the firft World would 
make from what we fee now in the prefent 
State of Things, if we confider only thofe Ge- 
nerals by which we have defcrib'd it in the fore- 
going Chapter, and what their Influence would 
be upon Mankind and the reft of Nature. For 
every new State of Nature doth introduce a 
new Civil Order, and a new Face and Oeco- 
nomy of Humane Affairs : And I am apt to 
think that fome two Planets, that are under 
the fame State or Period, do not fo much dif- 
fer from one another, as the fame Planet doth 
from it felf in different Periods of its Dura- 
tion. We do not feem to inhabit the fame 
World that our firft Fore-fathers did, nor fcarce 
to be the fame Race of Men. Our Life now 
is fo {hort and vain, as if we carne into the 
World only to fee it and leave it, by that time 
we begin to underftand our felves a littlejand to 
know where we are, and how to ad our part, 
we muft leave the Stage, and give Place to o- 
thers as meer Novices as we were our felves 
at our firft Entrance. And this fliort Life is 
employ'd, in a great meafure, to preferve our 
felves from Neceflity, or Difeafes, or Injuries 
of the Air, or other Inconveniencies ^ to make 
one Man eafy, ten muft work and do drudge- 
ry^ The Body takes up fo much time, we have 
iittle Leifure for Contemplation, or to culti- 
vate the Mind. The Earth doth not yield 
lis Food, but with much Labour and Induftry,- 
and what was her free-will Offering before, or 
an eafy Liberality^ can fcarce now be extorted 


Concerning the Vwn. Earth j, and Paradife. 255 
from her. Neither are the Heavens more fa- 
vourable, fometimes in one Extream, fome- 
times in another; The Air often impure or in- 
fedious, and, for a great part of the Year, 
Nature her felf feems to be fick or dead. To 
this Vanity the external Creation is made fub- 
je(5t as well as Mankind, and fo muft continue 
till the Rcftitution of all Things. 

Can we imagine, in thofe happy Times and 
Places we are treating of, that things flood in 
this fame Pofture ? are thefe the Fruits of the 
Golden Age and of Paradife^ or confident 
with their Happinefs ? And the Remedies of 
thefe Evils muft be fo univerfal, you cannot 
give them to one Place or Region of the Earth, 
but all muft participate : For thefe are things 
that flow from the Courfe of the Heavens, 
or fuch general Caufes as extend at once to all 
Nature. If there was a perpetual Spring and 
perpetual Equinox in Paradife^ there was at 
the fame time a perpetual Equinox all the 
Earth over ; unlefs you place Paradife in the 
middle of the Torrid Zone. So alfo the long 
Lives of the Antediluvians was an univerfal 
Effeft, and muft have had an univerfal Caufe. 
'Tis true^ in fome fingle Parts or Regions of 
the prefent Earth, the Inhabitants live gene- 
rally longer than in others, but do not ap- 
proach in any meafure the Age of their An- 
tediluvian Fore-fathers j and that degree of 
Longsevity which they have above the reft, 
they owe to the Calmnefs and Tranquility of 
their Heavens and Air , which is but an im- 
perfe(ft Participation of that Caufe which was 


i 5^ The Theory of the Earth; 
once univcrfal, and had its Effefl: throughout 
the whole Earth. And as to the Fertility of 
this Earth, though in fome Spots it be emi- 
nently more fruitful than in others, and more 
delicious ; yet that of the firfl: Earth Was a 
Fertility of another kind, being fpontaneous, 
and extending to the Produdion of Animals, 
which cannot be without a favourable Con- 
courfe from the Heavens alfo. 

Thus much in general j we will now go 
over thofe tliree forementioned Characters 
more diftincTily, to fliow, by their Unfuitable- 
nefs to the prefent State of Nature, that nei- 
ther the whole Earth, as it is now, nor any 
Part of it, could be FaradifiacaL The per- 
petual Spring, which belonged to the Golden 
Age, and to Faradife^ is an Happinefs this 
prefent Earth cannot pretend to, nor is capa- 
ble of, unlefs we could transfer the Sun from 
the Ecliptick to the Equator, or, which is as 
eafy, perfuade the Earth to change its Pofture 
to the Sun. If /Srchimedes had found a Place 
to plant his Machines in for removing of 
the Earth, all that I Ihould have defir'd of 
him, would have been only to have given it 
an heave at one End, and fet it a little to 
rights again with the Sun, that we might have 
enjoy'd the Comfort of a perpetual Spring, 
which we have loft by its Diflocation ever 
fince the Deluge. And there being nothing 
more indifpenfably neceffary to a Paradifiacal 
State than this Unity and Equality of Seafons, 
where that cannot be, 'tis in vain to feek for 
the reft of Paradife. 


Concemhig the Prim. Eanh^ and Faradife. 257 
The fpontaneous Fruitfulnefs of the Ground 
was a thing peculiar to the primigenial Soil, 
which was fo tempered, as made it more lux- 
uriant at that time than it could ever be after- 
wards 5' and as that rich Temperament was fpenr, 
fo by degrees it grew lefs fertile. The Ori- 
gin or Produdlion of Animals out of the Earth 
depended not only upon this vital Conftitution 
of the Soil at firll:, but alfo upon fuch a Pofture 
andAfped of the Heavens, as favoured, or at 
Jeafl: permitted Nature^ to make het beft Works 
out of this prepar'd Matter^ and better than 
could be made in that manner, after the Flood. 
Noal\ we fee, had Orders given him to preferve 
the Races of living Creatures in his Ark^when 
the old World was deflroy'd j which is an Ar- 
gument to me, that Providence forefaw that 
the Earth would not be capable to produce 
them under its new Fornij and that, not only 
for want of Fitnefs in the Soil, but becaufe of 
the Diverh^ty of Seafons which were then to 
take Place, whereby Nature would be dif- 
turb'd in her Work^ and the Subjeft to be 
wrought upon would not continue long enough 
in the fame due Temper. Btit this part of the 
fecond Charader, concerningthe Original of A- 
nimals, deferves to be further examined and 

The firft Principles of Life muft be tender 
and dudile, that they may yield to all the Mo- 
tions and gentle Touches of Nature j other- 
wife it is not pofTible that they fliould ht 
wrought with that Curiofity, and dtawn into 
all thofe little fine Threads and Textures^ that 

Book IL S we 

258 The Thory of the E a r t h. 
we fee and admire in fome parts of the Bodies 
of Animals. And as the Matter muft be fo con- 
ftituted at firft, fo it muftbe kept in a due Tem- 
per till the Work be finiflit, without any Ex-' 
cefs of Heat or Cold , and accordingly we fee 
that Nature hath made Provifion in all forts of 
Creatures, whether Oviparous or Viviparous, 
th;it the firft Rudiments of Life fiiould be pre- 
ferv'd from all Injuries of the Air, and kept 
in a moderate Warmth. Eggs are enclos'd in 
a Shelly or Film, and muft be cherilh'd with 
an equal gentle Heat, to begin Formation and 
continue it, otherwife the Work mifcarries: 
And in Viviparous Creatures, the Materials 
of Life are fafely lodg'd in the Female's Womb, 
and conferv'd in a fit Tejuperature 'twixtHeat 
and Cold, while the Caufes that Providence 
hath employ 'd are bufy at work, fafhioning 
and placing and joining the Parts in that due 
Order which fo wonderful a Fabrick requires. 

Let us now compare thefe things with the 
Birth of Animals in the new-made AVorld, when 
they firft rofe out of the Earth, to fee what Pro- 
vifion could be made tliere for their Safety and 
Nourilhment, wh'ile they were a making, and 
when newly made ; and though we take all 
Advantages we can, and fuppofe both the 
Heavens and the Earth favourable, a fit Soil 
and a warm and conftant Temper of the Air, 
all will be little enough to make this way of 
Production feafible or probable. But if we* 
fuppole there was then the fame Inconftancy 
of the Heavens* that is now, the fame Vicifli- 
xiide of Seafoiis-, and the fame Inequality of 


Co?icer7img the Vrim. Earthy and Paradife, 259 
Heat and Cold^ I do not think it at all poffi- 
ble that they could be fo fbrm'd, or, being 
nevv-form'd, preferv'd and nourifli'd. 'Tis 
true, fome little Creatures, that are of fliort 
Difpatch in their Formation, and find Nourifh- 
ment enough vvherefoever they are bred, might 
be produced and brought to Perfedion in this 
way, notwithftanding any Inequality of Sea- 
fonsj becaufe they are made all at a Heat, as 
I may fo fay, begun and ended within the 
compafs of one Seafon. But the great Quef- 
tion is concerning the more perfed kinds of A- 
nimals, that require a long flay in the Womb, 
to make them capable to fuftain and nourifli 
themfelves when they firft come into the 
World. Such Animals, being big and ftrong, 
mufl: have a pretty Hardnefs in their Bones, 
and Force and Firmnefs in their Mufcles and 
Joints, before they can bare their own weightj 
and exercife the common Motions of their 
Body : And accordingly we fee Nature hath 
ordain'd for thefe a longer time of Geftation, 
that their Limbs and Members might have 
time to acquire Strength and Solidity. Befides, 
the young ones of thefe Animals have com- 
nionly the Milk of the Dam to nourifli them 
after they are brought forth, which is a very 
proper Nourifliment, and like to that which 
they had before in the Womb -, and by this 
means their Stomachs are prepar'd by degrees 
for coarfer Food ; Whereas our Terrigenous 
Animals muft have been wean'd as loon as 
they were born, or as foon as they were fepa- 

S 2 rated 

i6o The Theory of the Ear t h. 
nted from their Mother the Earth, and there- 
fore muft be allow'd a longer time of continu- 
ing there. 

Thefe Things being confider'd, we cannot 
in reafon but iuppofe, that thefe Terrigenous 
Animals were as long, or longer, a perfeft- 
ing, than our Viviparous, and were not fepa- 
rated from the Body of the Earth for ten, 
tv\^elve, eighteen or more Months, according 
as their Nature was ; and feeing in this fpace 
of time they muft have fuffer'd, upon the 
common HyfothefiSj all Vicillitudes and Vari- 
ety of Seafons, and great ExcelTes of Heat 
and Cold, which are things incompatible 
with the tender Principles of Life and the 
Formation of living Creatures, as we have 
Ihown before ; we may reafonably and fafely 
conclude, that Nature had net, when the 
World began, the fame Courfe fhe hath now, 
or that the Earth was not then in its prefent 
Pofture and Conftitution : Seeing, I fay, thefe 
firft fpontaneous Births, which, both the Holy 
Writ, Reafon and Antiquity feem to allow, 
could not be finifli'd and brought to Maturity, 
nor afterwards preferv'd and nourifli'd, upon 
any other Suppofition. 

Longa?vity is the lafl: Charafter to be confi- 
der'd, and as inconfiftent with the prefent 
State of the Earth as any other. There are 
many Things in the Story of the Frft Ages that 
feem ftrange, but nothing fo prodigy-like as 
the long Lives of thofe Men ,• that their Houfes 
of Clay fhould (land eight or nine hundred 
Years and upwards, and thofe we build of the 
hardeft Stone or Marble will not now laft fo 


Concernbig the Trim, Earthy and Paradife. i6i 
long. This hath excited the Curiofity of In- 
genious and Learned Men in all Ages to en- 
quire after the poffible Caufes of that Longse- 
vity; and if it had been always in Conjunc- 
tion with Innocency of Life and Manners, 
and expir'd when that expir'd, we might have 
thought it fome peculiar BlefTing or Reward 
attending that , but 'twas common to good 
and bad, and lafted till the Deluge, whereas 
Mankind was degenerate long before. A- 
mongft Natural Caufes, fome have imputed 
it to the Sobriety and Simplicity of their Diet 
and manner of living in thofe Days, that they 
eat no Flelh, and had not all thofe Provoca- 
tions to Gluttony which Wit and Vice have 
fince invented. This might have fome EfFeft, 
but not pofTibly to that degree and meafure 
that we fpeak -of. There are many Monafti- 
cal Perlbns now that live Abftemioufly all their 
Lives, and yet they think an hundred Years 
a very great Age amongft them. Others have 
imputed it to the Excellency of their Fruits, 
and fome unknown Virtue in their Herbs and 
Plants in thofe Days,- but they may as well fay 
nothing, as fay that which can neither be prov a 
nor underilood. It could not be either the 
Quantity or Quality of their Food that was 
the Caufe of their long Lives, for the Earth 
was faid to be curft long before the Deluge, 
and probably by that time was more barren and 
juicelefs (for the generality) than ours is now; 
yet we do not (ee that their Longsevity de- 
creas'd at all, from the beginning of the World 
to the Flood. Methufalah was Noah's Grand- 

S 3 father. 

2 52 The Theory of the EarthJ 
father3but one intire Remove from the Deluge, 
and he liv'd longer than any of his Fore-fathers. 
That Food that will nourifli the Parts, and keep 
us in Health, is alfo capable to keep us in 
long Life, if there be no Impediments other- 
wife ; for to continue Health is to continue Life ; 
as that Fewel that is fit to raife and nourifli 
a Flame, will preferve it as long as you pleafe, 
if you add frefli Fewel, and no external Caufes 
hinder : Neither do we obferve that in thofe 
Parts of the prefent Earth, where People live 
longer than in others, that there is any thing 
extraordinary in their Food ; but that the Dif- 
ference is chiefly from the Air and theTempe- 
ratenefs of the Heavens ; And if the Antedi- 
luvians had not enjoy 'd that Advantage in a 
peculiar manner, and differently from what a- 
ny Parts of the Earth do now, they would ne- 
ver have feen feven, eight, or nine hundred 
Years go over their Heads, though they had 
been nourifli'd with Ne^far and Ajnbrofia. 

Others have thought that the long Lives of 
thofe Men of the old World proceeded from 
the Strength of their Stamina^ or firft Princi- 
ples of their Bodies ; which if they were now 
as ftrong in us, they think we fliould ftill live as 
long as they did. This could not be the fole 
and adasiquate Caufe of their Longevity, as 
will appear both from Hiftory and Reafon. 
Shefn^ who was born before the Flood, and had 
in his Body all the Virtue of the Antediluvi- 
an Stamina and Conftitution, fell three hun- 
dred Years fiiort of the Age of his Fore-fathers^ 
becaufe the greateft part of his Life was paft 


Concerning the Prim. Earthy, and Paradife, 26^ 
after the Flood. That their Stamina were firon- 
ger than ours are, I am very ready to believe, 
and that their Bodies were greater , and any 
Race of ftrong .Men, living long in Health, 
would have Children of a proportionable 
ftrong Conftitution v/ith themfelves i but then 
the Qieflion is, how was this interrupted ? We 
that are their Pofterity, why do not we inhe- 
rit their long Lives? How was this Conftiru- 
tion broken at the Deluge, and how did the 
Stamina fail fo faft Vv^hen that came ? Why 
was there fo great aCriJis then and Turn of Life, 
jor why was that the Period of their Strength ? 
We fee this Long^evity funk half in half im- 
mediately after the Flood, and after that it 
funk by gentler degrees, but was ftill in Mo- 
tion and Declenfion till it was fixt at length, 
before David's time, Pf. 90. 10. {calPd a Pfalm 
of Mofes,) in that which hath been the com- 
mon Standard of Man's Age ever fince ; As 
when fome excellent Fruit is tranfpl'anted into 
,a worfe Climate and Soil, it degenerates con- 
tinually till it comes to fuch a degree of Mean- 
nefs as fuits that Air and Soil, and then it ftands. 
That the Age of Man did not fall all on a fud- 
den from the Antediluvian Meafureto the pre- 
fent, I impute it to the remaining Stamina of 
thofe firft Ages, and the Strength of that prif- 
.tine Conftitution which could not wear off 
but by degrees. We fee the Blacks do not 
quit their Complexion immediately by remo- 
ving into another Climate, but their Pofteri- 
ty changeth by little and little, and after fome 
Generations they become altogether like the 

S 4 People 

26^ The Theory of the Earth. 
People of the Country where they are. Thus 
by the Change of Nature that happened at 
the Flood, the unhappy Influence of the Air 
and unequal Seafons weakened by degrees 
the innate Strength of their Bodies and the Vi- 
gour of their Parts, which would have been 
capable to have lafted feyeral more hundreds 
of Years, if the Heavens had continued their 
Courfe as formerly, or the Earth its Pofition. 
To conclude this particular, if any think 
that the Antediluvian Longsevity proceeded 
only from the Stamina^ or the meer Strength 
of their Bodies, and would have been fo un- 
der any Conftitution of the Heavens, let em 
refolve themfelves thefe Queftions : Firft, Why 
thefe Stamina^ or this Strength of Conftitu- 
tion fail'd ? Secondly, Why did it fail fo much 
and fo remarkably at the Deluge ? Thirdly, 
Why in fuch Proportions as it hath done fince 
the Deluge ? And laftly. Why it hath ftood {o 
long immovable, and without any further Di- 
minution ? Within the compafs of five hun- 
dred Years they funk from nine hundred to 
nijiety ; and in the compafs of more than three 
thoufand Years fince they have not funk ten 
Years, or fcarce any thing at all. Who confiders 
theReafons of thele Things, and the true Refo- 
lution of thefe Qiieftions, will be fatisfied, 
that to underftand the Caufes of that Lpngse- 
vity, fomething more muft be confider'd than 
the Make and Strength of their Bodies,- which, 
though they had been made as ftrong as the 
'Behemoth or Le^nathan^ could not have lafted 
fo many Ages, if there had not been a parti- 

Concerning the Trivt. Eartl\ and Paradife. t6^. 
cular Concurrence of external Caufes, fuch as 
the prefent State of Nature doth not admit 

By this fliort Review of the three general 
Charaders of Paradife and the Golden Age, 
we may conclude how little confiftent they are 
with the prefent Form and Order of the Earth. 
Who can pretend to ailign any Place or Region 
in this terraqueous Globe, Ifland or Conti- 
nent, that is capable of thefe Conditions, or 
that agrees either with the Defcriptions given 
by the Ancient Heathens of their ParadifeSy 
or by the Chriftian Fathers of Scripture Para- 
dife? But where then, will you fay, muft we 
look for it, if not upon this Earth ? This puts 
us more into Defpair of finding it than ever ,• 
'tis not above nor below, in the Air or in the 
fubterraneous Regions: No, doubtlefs 'twas 
upon the Surface of the Earth, but of the 
Primitive Earth, whofe Form and Properties, 
as they were different from this, fo they were 
fuch as made it capable of being truly Para- 
difiacal^ both according to the forementioned 
Charaders, and all other Qiialities, and Pri- 
vileges reafonably afcrib'd to Paradife. 



i56 The Theory of the E a r t h^ 

Chap. III. 

The Original Differences of the Trhnime Earth 

from the frefent or poft-dilwvian. The three 

' Characters of Paradife ayid the Golden Age 

found in the Pri?niti've Earth, A f articular 

Explication of each Character, 

WE have hitherto only perplext the 
Argument and our felves, by fnow- 
ing how inexplicable the State of 
Paradife is according to the prefent Order of 
Things, and the prefent Condition of the Earth. 
We muft now therefore bring into view that 
Original and Antediluvian Earth where we 
pretend its Seat was, and fiiow it capable of 
all thofe Privileges which we have deny'd to 
the prefent; in virtue of which Privileges, and 
of the Order of Nature eftabliiht there, that 
primitive Earth might be truly Paradijiacal^ as 
in the Golden Age ; and fome Region of it 
might be peculiarly fo, according to the re- 
ceiv'd Idea of Paradife. And this, I think, is 
all the Knowledge and Satisfaftion that we 
can exped, or that Providence hath allow'd 
us in this Argument. 

The Primigenial Earth, which in the firft 
Book (Ghap. 5.) we rais'd from a Chaos, and 
fet up in an habitable Form, we muft now fur- 
vey again with more Care, to obferve its 
principal Differences from the prefent Earth, 
and what Influence they will have upon the 
pueftion in hand. Thefe Differences, as we 


Concerningihe Trim. Earthy and Parndife, 267 
have faid before, were chiefly three j The Form 
of it, which was fmooth, even and regular. 
The Pofture and Situation of it to the Sun, 
which was dired^ and not, as it is at prefent, 
inclin'd and obUque; and the Figure of it, 
which was more apparently and regularly 
oval than it is now. From thefe three Diffe- 
rences flow'd a great many more, inferiour 
and fubordinate ,• and which had a confidera- 
ble Influence upon the moral World at that 
time, as well as the natural. But we will on- 
ly obferve here their more immediate Effefts, 
and that in reference to thofe general Charac- 
ters or Properties of the Golden Age and of 
Paradife^ which we have inflanc'd in, and 
whereof we are bound to give an Account by 
our Hypothejif. 

And in this refped the mofl: fundamental of 
thofe three Differences we mention'd, was that 
of the right Pofture and Situation of the Earth 
to the Sun ^ for from this immediately follow'd 
a perpetual Equinox all the Earth over, or, 
if you will, a perpetual Spring : And that was 
the great thing we found wanting in the 
prefent Earth to make it Paradifiacal^ or capa- 
ble of being fo. Wherefore this being now 
found and eftablifhtin the Primitive Earth, the 
Other two Properties, of Longsevity and of 
Spontaneous and Vital Fertility, will be of 
more eafy Explication. In the mean time let 
us view a little the Reafons and Caufes of that 
regular Situation in the firft Earth. 

The Truth is, one cannot fo well require a 
Ileafon of the regular Situation the Earth had 


i:<58 The Theory of the E a R t h. 
tJien, for that was moft fimple and natural ; 
as of the irregular Situation it hath now, ftand^ 
ing oblique and inclin'd to the Sun or the E- 
cliptick : Whereby the Courfe of the Year is 
become unequal, and we are caft into a great 
Diverfity of Seafons. But however3 ftating 
the firft aright with its Circuniftances, we fhall 
have a better Profped upon the fecond, and 
lee from what Caufes, and in what manner, it 
came to pafs. Let us therefore fuppofe the 
Earth, with the reft of its fellow Planets, to be 
carried about the Sun in the Ecliptick by the 
Motion of the liquid Heavens ; and being at 
that time perfectly uniform and regular, ha- 
ving the fame Center of its Magnitude and 
Gravity, it would by the Equality of its Li- 
bration neceffarily have its Axis parallel to the 
Axis of the fame Ecliptick, both its Poles be- 
ing equally inclin'd to the Sun. And this Pof- 
ture I call a right Situation^ as oppos'd to ob- 
lique or inclin'd : or a parallel Situation, if 
you pleafe. Now this is a thing that needs 
no Proof befides its own Evidence ^ for 'tis 
the immediate Refult and common Effed: of 
Gravity or Libration, that a Body, freely left 
to itfelf in a fluid Medium^ fhould fettle in 
fuch a Pofture as beft anfwers to its Gravita- 
tion I and this firft Earth whereof wie fpeak, 
being uniform and every way equally bal- 
lanc'd, there was no Reafon why it ftould 
incline at one End, more than at the other, to- 
wards the Sun. As if you fliould fuppofe a 
Ship to ftand North and South under the ^- 
quator, if it was equally built and equally 


Concerning the Prim. Earthy andParddife. 269 
ballaftedj it would not incline to one Pole or 
other, but keep its Axis parallel to the Axis 
of the Earth j but if the Ballaft lay more at 
one End, it would dip towards that Pole, and 
rife proportionably higher towards the other. 
So thofe great Ships that fail about the Sun 
once a Year, or once in fo many Years, whilft 
they are uniformly built and equally pois'd, 
they keep fteady and even with the Axis of 
their Orbit j but if they lofe that Equality, 
and the Center of their Gravity change, the 
heavier End will incline more towards the com- 
mon Center of their Motion, and the other End 
will recede from it. So particularly the Earth, 
which makes one in that Aery Fleet, when it 
Ycap'd fo narrowly from being ftiipwrackt in 
the great Deluge, was however fo broken and 
diforder'd, that it loft its equal Poife,and there- 
upon the Center of its Gravity changing, one 
Pole became more inclin'd towards the Sun, 
and the other more remov'd from it, and fo 
its right and parallel Situation which it had 
before to the Axis of the Ecliptick , was 
chang'd into an oblique ^ in which skew Pof- 
ture it hath flood ever fince, and is likely fo to 
do for fome Ages to come. I inftance in this, 
as the moft obvious Caufe of the Change of 
the Situation of the Earth, though it may be, 
upon this followed a Change in its Magnetifm, 
and that might alfo contribute to the fame Ef- 

However, this Change and Obliquity of the 
Earth's Pofture had a long train of Confe- 
quences depending upon it j whereof that was 
the moft immediate^ that it alter'd the Form 


2^o The Theory of the E a r t hJ 
of the Year, and brought in that Inequality 
of Seafons which hath fince obtain'd : As, on 
the contrary, while the Earth was in its firft 
and natural Pofture, in a more eafy and regu- 
lar Difpofition to the Sun, that had alfo ano- 
ther refpedive train of Confequences, whereof 
one of the firft, and that which we are moft 
concern'd in at prefent, was, that it made a 
perpetual iEquinox or Spring to all the World, 
all the Parts of the Year had one and the fame 
Tenor, Face and Temper , there was no 
Winter or Summer, Seed-time or Harveft, 
but a continual Temperature of the Air and 
Verdure of the Earth. And this fully anfwers 
the firft and fundamental Charader of the 
Golden Age and of Faradife ; and what An- 
tiquity, whether Heathen or Chriftian, hath 
fpoken concerning that perpetual Serenity and 
conftant Spring that reign'd there, which in 
the one was accounted Fabulous, and in the 
other Hyperbolical, we fee to have been really 
and Philofophically true. Nor is there any 
Wonder in the thing, the Wonder is rather on 
our fide, that the Earth fliould ftand and con- 
tinue in that forc'd Pofture wherein it is now, 
fpinning Yearly about an Axis, I mean that 
of the JEquator, that doth not belong to the 
Orbit of its Motion ^ This, I fay, is more 
ftrange than that it once ftood in a Pofture 
that was ftreight and regular ; As we more 
juftly admire the Tower at Pifa^ that ftanda 
crook'd, than twenty other ftreight Towers 
that are much higher. 


Concerning the Vrim. Earth:, andParadife. 27 J 
Having got this Foundation to ftand upon,' 
the reft of our Work will go on more eafily ; 
and the two ct ler Charafters which we men- 
tion'd, will nor dc of very difficult Explication. 
The fpontaneous Fertility of the Earth, and 
its Production of Animals at that time, we 
have in fome meafure explain'd before, fuppo- 
fing it to proceed partly from the Richnefs of 
the primigeniai Soil, and partly from this 
conftant Spring and Benignity of the Heavens, 
which we have now eftablifh'd : Thefe were 
always ready to excite Nature, and put her 
upon Aftion, and never to interrupt her in any 
of her Motions or Attempts. We have fliow'd 
in the fifth Chapter of the firft Book, how 
this primigeniai Soil was made, and of what 
Ingredients ; which were fuch as compofe the 
richeft and fatteft Soil, being a light Earth 
mixt with unftuous Juices, and then afterwards 
refrefli'd and diluted with the Dews of Hea- 
ven all the Year long, and cherifht with a con- 
tinual Warmth from the Sun. What more 
hopeful Beginning of a World than this ? You 
will grant, I believe, that whatfoever degree, 
or whatfoever kind of Fruitfulnefs could be 
expe(fted from a Soil and a Sun, might be rea- 
fonably expefted there. We fee great Woods 
and Forefts of Trees rife fpontaneoufly, and 
that fince the Flood (for who can imagine 
that the ancient Forefts, whereof fome were 
fo vaftly great, were planted by the Hand of 
Man ? ) why Ihould we not then believe that 
Fruit-trees and Corn rofe as fpontaneoufly in 
that firft Earth ? That which makes Husban- 

iyi The Theory of the Earth.' 
dry and humane Arts fo neceflary now for the 
Fruits and Productions of the Earth, is partly 
indeed the Decay of the Soil, but chiefly the, 
Diverfity of Sealons, whereby they perifh, if 
care be not taken of them , but when there 
was neither Heat nor Cold, Winter nor Sum- 
mer, every Seafon was a Seed-time to Nature, 
and every Seafon an Harveft. 

This, it may be^ you will allow as to the 
Fruits of the Earth, but that the fame Earth 
fliould produce Animals alfo will not be 
thought fo intelligible. Since it hath been dif- 
cover'd, that the firft Materials of all Animals 
are Eggs, as Seeds are of Plants, it doth not 
feem fo hard to conceive that thefe Eggs 
might be in the firft Earth, as well as thofe 
Seeds , for there is a great Analogy and Simi- 
litude betwixt them ; efpecially if you com- 
pare thefe Seeds firft with the Eggs of Infeds 
or Fifties, and then with the Eggs of vivipa- 
rous Animals. And as for thofe Juices which 
the Eggs of viviparous Animals imbibe tho- 
rough their Coats from the Womb,they might 
as well imbibe them, or fomethirig analogous 
to them, from a conveniently temper'd Earth, 
as Plant-Eggs do , and thefe Things being ad- 
mitted, the Progrefs is much- what the fame in 
Seeds as Eggs, and in one fort of Eggs as in 

'Tis true, Animal-Eggs do not feem to be 
fruitful of themfelves, without the Influence 
of the Male ; and this is not necelTary in Plant- 
Eggs or vegetable Seeds. But neither doth it 
feem neceflary in all Animal Eggs, if there be 


Concer?img the Pri?n. Earthy andParadife. 273 
any Animals [pnte orta^ as they call them, or 
bred without Copulation. And, as we ob- 
ferv'd before, according to the bed Know- 
ledge that we have of this Male-influence, it 
is reafonable to believe, that it may be fup- 
plied by the Heavens or JEther. The An- 
cients, both the Stoicks and Arifiotle^ have fup- 
pos'd that there was fomething of an sethereal 
Element in the Malegeniture, from whence 
the Virtue of it chiefly proceeded j and if fo^ 
why may we not fuppofe, at that time, fome 
general Impreflion or Irradiation of that purer 
Element to fruftify the new made Earth ? M^- 
[es faith there was an Incubation of the Spirit 
of God upon the Mafs, and without all doubt 
that was either to form, orfrudify it, and by 
the Mediation of this a(5tive Principle ; but 
the Ancients fpeak more plainly with exprefs 
mention of this jEther^ and of the Impregna- 
tion of the Earth by it, as betwixt Male and 
Female. As in the Place before cited i 

Tu?n Pater o?nnipotens f(zcundk hnbribus jEthcr 
ConJHgis in greinium Uta defcendit ; (^ oinnes 
y[ag72us alit magno coimnixti^ corf ore foeUfSi 

Which Notion, 1 remember, St. Aujlin faith,' 
t)e Ch. D. lib. 4. c. i o Virgil did not take from 
the Fiaions of the Poets, but out of the Books 
of the Philofophers. Some of the graved Au- 
thors amongft the Romans have reported that 
this Virtue hath been convey 'd into the 
Wombs of fome Animals by the Winds or the 
Zephyri ; and as I eafily belieVe tbat the firft 
Book IL T '" ftefli 

V74 '^^^ Theory of the Earth, 
fiefli Air was more impregnoited with this ^- 
"thereal Principle than ours is, fo I fee no rea- 
Ton but thofe balnly Dews^that fell every Night 
in the Primitive Earth, might be the Vehi- 
cle of it as well as the Malegeniture is now; 
and from them the, teeming E^rth ^ and thoffe 
vital Seeds which it contairfyj were aftuated, 
and received their firft Fruitfulnefs: 
. Now tiiis Principle , howfoever coii- 
tey'd to thofe Rudiments of Life which wb 
call EggSp is that which gives the firft ftroke 
towards Animation ; and this feems to be by 
exciting a Ferment in thofe little Maffes^ where- 
by the Parts are loofen d, and difpos'd for that 
Formation which is to fallow afterwards. And 
I fee nothing that hinders btit that we may rea- 
fbnably fnppdfe that thefe Artinal Produc- 
tibris might proceed thus fer in the Primige- 
"fiiai Earth: And ds to their- Progrefs and the 
Formation of the Body, by what Agents or 
Principles foever' that great Work is carried 
on in the Womb of the Female, it might by 
the fame be carried on there. Neither would 
there be any Danger of mifcarrying by Excefs 
of Heat or Gold, for the Air was always of 
an equal Temper and m.oderate Warmth,; 
And all other impediments Were retnov'd, and 
*ali Principles reaavj whether adive or paffive,- 
fo as we m'ay'jtift^cOT that as Eve \^as 

the Mother of an living as to Mankind, fo 
was the Earth the Great Mother of all living 
Creatures befid'es. • ...,.: v c. . . ^ 

The third Charader to be 'ekplaiii'd, 'aftd 
the moft extnordfhary in Appearance^ is that 

" of 

Concerning the Trim. Earthy andParadife. 275 

of L O N G ^ V I T Y. This fprung from th^ 
fame Root, in my Opinion, with the other; 
though the Connexion, it may be, is not fo 
vifible. We fliow'd in the foregoing Chapter, 
that no Advantage of Diet, or of ftrong Con- 
flitutions, could have carried their Lives, be- 
fore the Flood, to that wonderful Length, if 
they had been expos'd to the fame Changes of 
Air and of Seafdns that our Bodies are: But 
taking a perpetual -Equinox, and fixing the 
Heavens, you fix the Life of Man too,- which 
was not then in fuch a rapid Flux as it is now, 
but feem'd to ftand ftill, as the Sun did once 
without Declen/ion. There is no Queflion but 
every thing upon Earth, and efpecially the 
Animate World, would be much more per- 
manent, if the general Courfe of Nature was 
more Heady and uniform ,• a Stability in the 
Heavens makes a Stability in all things below ; 
and that Change and Contrariety of Quali- 
ties that we have in thefe Regions, is the Foun- 
tain of Corruption, and fuffers nothing to be 
long in quiet : Either by intefiine Motions and 
Fermentations excited vvithin, or by outward 
Impreffions, Bodies are no fooner well confti- 
tuted, but they are tending again to Diflblu- 
tion. The jEther in their little Pores and 
Chinks is unequally agitated, and differently 
mov'd at different times, and fo is the Air in 
their greater, and the Vapours and Atmo- 
fphere round about them : All thefe fliakc and 
unfettle both the Texture and Continuity of 
Bodies. Whereas in a fixt State of Nature^ 
Wh^re thefe Principles have always the fame 
T 2 conftant 

2^6 T^e Theory of the E a r t h; 
conftant and uniform Motion^ when they are 
once fuited to the Forms and Compofitions of 
Bodies, they givethem no further Difturbance^ 
they enjoy a long and lading Peace^without any 
Commotions or Violence within or without. 
We find our felves fenfible Changes in our 
Bodies upon the Turn of the Year, and the 
Change of Seafons, new Fermentations in the 
Blood and Refolutions of the Humours ,• which 
if they do not amount to Difeafes, at leaft they 
difturb Nature, and have a bad Effed not on- 
ly upon the fluid Parts, but alfo upon the more 
folid, upon the Springs and Fibres in the Or- 
gans of the Body, to weaken them and unfit 
them by degrees for their refpedive Funftions. 
For though the Change is not fenfible imme- 
diately in thefe Parts, yet after many repeated 
ImprelTions every Year, by unequal Heat and 
Cold_, Drinefs and Moifture, contrafting and 
relaxing the Fibres, their Tone at length is in 
a great meafure deftroy'd, and brought to a 
manifeft Debility j and the great Springs fall- 
ing, the leffer, that depend upon them, fall in 
Proportion, and all the Symptoms of Decay and 
old Age follow. We fee by daily Experience, 
that Bodies are kept better in the fame Medium^ 
as we call it, than if they often change their 
Mediu?n^ as fometimes in Air, fometimes in 
;Water, moiften'd and dry'd, heated and cool'd^ 
thefe different States weaken the Contexture 
of the Parts : But our Bodies, in the prefent 
State of Nature, are put into an hundred dif- 
. ferentM^^///;/// inthe courfe of a Year^ fome- 
times we are fteept in Water, or in a mifty 


Concerning the Prim. Earthy andParadife. I'j'j 
foggy Air for feveral Days together, fometimes 
we are almoft frozen with Cold, then fainting 
with Heat at another time of the Year -, and 
the Winds are of a different Nature, and the 
Air of a different Weight and Preffure, ac- 
cording to the Weather and theSeafons: Thefe 
things would wear our Bodies, tho' they were 
built of Oak, and that in a very ftiort time 
in Comparifon of what they would laft, if 
they were always incompaft with one and the 
fame M^^//w/,under one and the fame Temper^ 
as it was in the Primitive Earth. 

The Ancients feem to have been fenfible of 
this, and of the true Caufes of thofe long Pe- 
riods of Life ,* for wherefoever they aflign*d a 
great Longevity, as they did not only to their 
Golden Age, but alfoto their particular and to- 
pical Paradifesy they alfo affign'd there a con- 
ftant Serenity and Equality of the Heavens, 
and fometimes exprefly a conftant Equinox ; 
as might be made appear from their Authors. 
And fome of our Chriftian Authors have gone 
farther, and conneded thefe two together, as 
Caufe and Effeft , for they fay that the Longce- 
vity of the Antediluvian Patriarchs proceeded 
from a favourable Afpedt and Influence of the 
Heavens at that time ,• which Affect of the 
Heavens, being rightly interpreted, is the fame 
thing that we call the Pofition of the Heavens, 
or the right Situation of the Sun and the Earth, 
from whence came a perpetual ^Equinox. 
And if we confider the prefent Earth, I know 
no Place where they live longer than in that lit- 
tle Ifland of the Bermudas^ where, according 

T 3 to 

27^ The Theory of the Earth. 
to the Proportion of time they hold out there^ 
after they are arriv'd from other Parts^one may 
reafonably fuppofe, that the Natives would 
live two hundred Years. And there's nothing 
appears in that Ifland that fiiould give long 
Life above other Places, but the extraordina- 
ry Steadinefs of the Weather, and of the Tem- 
per of the Air throughout the whole Year, fo 
as there is fcarce any confiderable Difference of 

But becaufe it would take up too much time 
to fliow in this place the full and juft Reafons 
why, and how thefe long Periods of Life de- 
pend upon the Stability of the Heavens: And 
how on the contrary, from their Inconftancy and 
Mutability thefe Periods are fliorten d,as in the 
prefent Order of Nature; we will fet apart 
the next Chapter to treat upon that Subjed ; 
yet by way of Digreffion only, fo as thofe that 
have a Mind may pafs to the following, where 
the Thread of this Difcourfe is continued. In 
the mean time you fee, we have prepar'd an 
Earth for Faradife^ and given a fair and intel- 
ligible iVccountof thofe three general Charac- 
ters, which, according to the Rules of Method, 
muft be determined before any further Progrefs 
cad be made in this Argument. For in the 
Doiftrine of Paradife there are two things to 
be confider'd, the State of it, and the Place 
of it; And as it is firfl: in Order of Nature, fo 
it is much more material, to find out the State 
of it, than the Region where it flood. We need 
hot follow the 'Windings of Rivers, and the 
Interpretation of hard Names^ to difcover this, 
' • • " we 

Concerning the T-wiu Earthy and Tamdife, zjp 
we take more faithful Guides. The unani- 
mous Reports of Antiquity, facred and pro- 
fane, fupported by a regular T'heory. Upon 
thefe Grounds we go, and have thus far pro- 
ceeded on our Way; which we hope will grow 
more eafy and pleafant, th<j nearer we com© 
to our Journey's End. 

Chap. IV. 

A DigreJJion concerning the natural Caufes of 
Longd'vity. That the Machine of an Ani- 
mal confifls of Springs J and which are the two 
principal. The Age of the AntedilwviaJis to 
be computed by Solar not Lunar Tears, 

TO confirm our Opinion concerning the 
Reafons of Longsevity in the firft In- 
habitants of the World, it will not be 
amifs to deduce more at large the natural 
Caufes of long or Jlmt Periods of Life. And 
when we fpeak of long or Ihort Periods 
of Life, we do not mean thofe little Diffe- 
rences of ten, twenty, or forty Years, which 
we fee amongft Men now-a-days, according as 
they are of ftronger or weaker Conftitution^, 
and govern themfelves better or worfe^ but 
thofe grand and famous Differences of feveral 
hundreds of Years, which we have Examples 
of in the different Ages of the World, and 
particularly in thofe that liv'd before and fince 
the Flood. Neither do we think it peculiar 
to this Earth to have fuch an Inequality in the 
Lives of Men ,• but the other Planets^ if they 

T 4 be 

"ago The Theory of the E a r t h^ 
be inhabited, have the fame Property, and the 
fame Difference in their different Periods : All 
Planets that are in their Antediluvian State, 
and in their firft and regular Situation to the 
Sun, have long-liv'd Inhabitants • and thofe, 
that are in an oblique Situation, have fhort- 
liv'd ; unlefs there be fome counter Caufes 
that hinder this general Rule of Nature from 
taking Place. 

We are now fo us'd to a fliort Life, and to 
drop away after threefcore or fourfcore Years, 
that when we compare our Lives with thofe 
of the Antediluvians, we think the Wonder 
lies wholly on their Side, why they liv'd fo 
long ; and fo it doth, popularly fpeaking ; but 
if we fpeak philofophically, the Wonder lies 
rather on our Side, why we live fo little, or 
fo fliort a Time: For feeing our Bodies are 
fuch Machines as have a Faculty of nouriihing 
themfelves, that is, of repairing their loft or 
decay'd Parts, fo long as they have good Nou- 
rilhrnent to make ufe of, why fhould they not 
continue in good Plight, and always the fame, 
as a Flame does, fo long as it is fupplied with 
Fewel ? And that we may the better fee on 
whether Side the Wonder lies, and from what 
Caufes it proceeds, we will propofe this Pro- 
blem to be examined, Why the Frame or Ma^ 
chine of an humane Body^ or of another Ani^ 
malj halving that ConJlru£tion of Farts^ and 
thofe Faculties which it hath, lafis fo Jhort a 
Time ? And thp' it fall into no Difeafe, nor 
liave any unnatural Accident, within the Space 


Concerning the Vrhn. Earthy andParadife. 281' 
of eighty Years, more or lefs, fatally and inevi- 
tably decays, dies and perifheth ? 

That the State and Difficulty of this Qiie- 
ftion may the better appear, let us coniider a 
Man in the Prime and Vigour of his Life, at 
the Age of twenty or twenty four Years, of 
an healthful Conftitution, and all his Vitals 
found j let him be nourifh'd with good 
Food, ufe due Exercife," and govern him- 
felf with Moderation in all other things ; 
the Queflion is. Why this Body ihould not 
continue in the fame Plight, and in the 
fame Strength, for fome Ages? or at leaft 
why it ihould decay fo foon, and fo faft as we 
fee it does ? We do not wonder at Things that 
happen daily, though the Caufes of them be 
never fo hard to find out ; we contraft a cer- 
tain Familiarity with common Events, and 
fancy we know as much of them as can be 
known, tho' in Reality we know nothing of 
them but Matter of Faft,- which the Vulgar 
know as well as the Wife or the Learned. We 
fee daily Inftances of the Shortnefs of Man's 
Life, how foon his Race is run, and we do 
not wonder at it, becaufe 'tis common ; yet if 
we examine the Compofition of the Body, it 
will be very hard to find any good Reafons 
why the Frame of it ftiould decay fo foon. 

I know 'tis eafy to give general and fuperfi- 
cial Anfwers and Accounts of thefe Things; 
but they are fucb, as, being ftridly examin'd, 
give no Satisfaxftion to an inquifitive Mind : 
You would fay, it, may be, that the interior 
Parts and Organs of the Body wear and de- 

iSz The Theory of the Eak 7 H. 

cay by Degrees, fo as not performing fo well 
their feveral Offices and Fundions, for the Di- 
geftion and Diftribution of the Food and its 
Juices, all the other Parts fuffer by it, and 
. draws on infenfibly a Decay upon the whole 
Frame of the Body. This is all true ,- but 
why, and how comes this to pafsi* from what 
Caufes ? where is the firft Failure, and what 
are the Confequ.ences of it ? The inward Parts 
do not deftroy themfelves, and we fuppofe that 
there is no want of good Food, nor any Dif- 
eafe, and we take the Body in its full Strength 
and Vigour, why doth it not continue thus, as 
a Lamp does, if you fupply it with Oil ? The 
Caufes being the fame, why doth not the fame 
Effed ftill follow ? Why fliould not the Flame 
of Life, as well as any other Flame, if you 
give it Fewel, continue in its Force without 
Languilhing or Decay ? 

You will fay, it may be, the Cafe is not the 
fame in a fimple Body, fuch as a Lamp or a Fire, 
and in an organical Body ; which being vari- 
oufly compounded of Multiplicity of Parts ^ 
and all thole Parts put in Connexion and De- 
pendance one upon another, if any one fail, it 
will diforder the whole Frame ; and therefore 
it muft needs be more difficult for fuch a Body 
to continue long in the fame State, than for a 
fimple Body, that hath no Variety of Parts or 
Operations. I acknowledge fuch a Body is 
much more fubjed to Difeafes and Accidents 
than a more fimple ; but barring all Difeafes 
and Accidents, as we do, it might be of as 
long a Duration as any other, if it was fup- 


Conceyjiingthe Prim. Earth, and Paradife. 283 
plyM with Nourifhment adequately to all its 
Parts : As this Lamp we fpeak of, if it confift- 
ed of twenty Branches , and each of thefe 
Branches was to be fed with a different Oil, 
and thefe Oils could be all mix'd together in 
fome common Ciftern, whence they were to 
be diftributed into the feveral Branches, either 
according to their different Degrees of Light- 
nefs, one rifing higher than another ; or accord- 
ing to the Capacity and Figure of the little 
Pipes they were to pafs thro' ; fuch a com- 
pounded Lamp, made up of fuch Artifices, 
would indeed be more fubjeft to Accidents, 
and to be out of Order, by the Obftrudion of 
fome of the little Pipes, or fome unfit Qiiali- 
ties in the Oils,- but all thefe Cafualties and 
Diforders excepted, as they are in our Cafe, 
if it was fupply'd with convenient Liquors, it 
would burn as long as any other, tho' more 
plain and fimple. 

To inflance yet, for more Plainnefs, in ano- 
ther fort of Machine 5 fuppofe a Mill, where 
the Water may reprefent the Nourifhment and 
Humours in our Body, and the Frame of Wood 
and Stone, the folid Parts ^ if we could fup- 
pofe this Mill to have a Power of nourifhing 
itfelf by the Water it received, and of repair- 
ing all the Parts that were worn away, whe- 
ther of the Wood-work or of the Stone^ feed 
it but with a conftant Stream, and it would 
fubfift and grind for ever. And 'tis the fame 
Thing for all other artificial Machines of this 
Nature, if they had a Faculty of nourifhing 
themfelyes, and repairing their Parts. And 


2S4 The Theory of the Earth, 
feeing thofe natural Machines we are fpeaking 
of, the Body of Man, and of other Animals, 
have and enjoy this Faculty, why fliould they 
not be able to preferve themfelves beyond that 
ihort Period of Time which is now the Mea- 
fure of their Life ? 

Thus much we have faid to fiiew the Diffi- 
culty proposed, and inforce it ,• we muft now 
confider the true Anfwer and Refolution of it ; 
and to that purpofe bring into View again 
thofe Caufes which we have ailign'd, both of 
the long Periods of Life i>efore the Flood, and 
of the fliort ones fince. That there was a 
perpetual j^quinox and Stability of the Hea- 
vens before the Flood, we have fiiow'd both 
from Hiflory and Reafon^ neither was there 
then any thing of Clouds, Rains, Winds, 
Storms, or unequal Weather, as will appear 
in the following Chapter j and to this Steadi- 
nefs of Nature, and univerfal Calmnefs of the 
external World, we have imputed thofe long 
Periods of Life which Men enjoy'd at that 
time : As on the contrary, when that great 
Change and Revolution happened to Nature at 
the Deluge, and the Heavens and the Earth 
were caft in another Mould, then was brought 
in, befide many other new Scenes, that Short- 
nefs and Vanity in the Life of Man, and a gene- 
ral Inftability in all fublunary Things, but efpe- 
cially in the animate World. 

It is not neceflary to fhow,more than we have 
done already, how that primitive State of Na- 
ture contributed to long Life -, neither is it re- 
quir'd that it fiiould a<ftively contribute, but 


Concerning the Vrim. Earthy and Farad ife. 285 
only be permiflive, and fuffer our Bodies to ad 
their Parts; for if they be not difturb'd, nor 
any Harm done them by external Nature, they 
are built with Art and Strength enough to lafl: 
many hundreds of Years. And as we obferv'd 
before concerning the Pofture of the Earth, 
that that which it had at firft, being fimple and 
regular, was not fo much to be accounted for, 
as its prefent Pofture, which is irregular ^ fo 
likewife for the Life of Man, the Difficulty is 
not why they liv'd fo long in the old World ; 
that was their due and proper Courfe; but 
why our Bodies, being made after the fame 
Manner, fliould endure fo fliort a time now. 
This is it therefore which we muft now make 
our Bufinefs to give an Account of, namely, 
how that Viciflitude of Seafons, Inconftancy 
of the Air, and unequal Courfe of Nature, 
which came in at the Deluge, do fliorten Life; 
and indeed haften the Diffolution of all Bodies, 
animate or inanimate. 

In our Bodies we may confider three feveral 
Qualities or Difpofitions, and according to 
each whereof they fuffer Decay : Firft, Their 
Continuity j Secondly, That Difpofition where- 
by they are capable of receiving Nourilhment, 
which we may call Nutribility ,♦ and Thirdly, 
The Tone or tonick Difpofition of the Organs, 
whereby they perform their feveral Fun<aions, 
In all thefe three Refpeds they would decay 
in any State of Nature, but far fooner and 
fafter in the prefent State than in the primae- 
val. As for their Continuity, we have noted 
before that all confiftent Bodies muft be iefs 


2 S6 The Theory of the E a r t h; 
durable now, than under that firft Order of 
the World, becaufe of the unequal and con- 
trary Motions of the Elements, or of the Air 
and ^ther that penetrate and pervade them ; 
and 'tis Part of that Vanity which all Things 
now are fubjed: to, to be moreperifhable than 
in their firft Conftitution. If we fhould con- 
lider our Bodies only as breathing Statues, con- 
fifting of thofe Parts they do, and of that 
Tendernefs, the Air which ' we breath, and 
wherewith we are continually incompaft, 
changing fo often 'twixt moift and dry, hot 
and cold, a flow and eager Motion, thefe 
different Actions and reftlefs Changes would 
fooner weaken and deftroy the Union of the 
Parts, than if they were always in a calm and 
quiet Medmn. 

But it is not the grofs and vifible Continuity 
of the Parts of our Body that firfl decays'; 
^there are finer Textures that are fpoil'd infen- 
fibly, and draw on the. Decay of the reft; 
Xuch are thofe other two we mention'd ; that 
Difpofition and Temper of the Parts whereby 
they are fit to receive their full Nourifhment; 
^nd efpecially that Conftrudion and Texture 
of the Organs that are preparatory to this Nu- 
trition. The Nutribility of the Body depends 
upon a certain Temperament in the Parts, foft 
and yielding, which makes them open to the 
Blood and Juices in their Circulation and Paf- 
fage thro' them, and mixing intimately and 
univerfally, hold faft and retain many of thfeir. 
Particles ; as muddy Earth doth the Parts of 
the Water that runs into it and mixeth with 

it j 

Concer7iing the Prim. Earthy and Paradife. 287 
-it : And when thefe nutritious Particles re- 
tain d are more than the Body fpends, that Bo- 
dy is in its Growth ; as when they are fewer, 
'tis in it.v Decay. And as we compar'd the 
Flelh and tender Parts, when they are young 
and in a growing Difpofition, to a muddy Soil, 
that opens to the Water, fvvells and incorpo- 
: rates with it ^ fo when they become hard and 
dry, they are like a fandy Earth, that fuffers 
the Water to glide thro' it, without incorpo- 
rating or roitaining many of its Parts ; and the 
fooner they come to this Temper, the fooner 
follows their Decay : For the fame Caufes, 
that fet Limits to our Growth, fet alfo Li- 
mits to our Life ; and he that can refolve that 
Queftion, why the Time of our Growth is fb 
■ fliort, will alfo be able to refolve the other in 
i good meafure, why the Time of our Life 
is fo fliort. In both Cafes, that which flops 
Gur Progrefs is external Nature, whofe Gourfe, 
while it was even and fleady, and the ambi- 
ent Air mild iind balmy, preferv'd the Body 
Tiiuch longer in a frefh and fit Temper to re- 
ceive its ftiU Nourifliment, and confequently 
-gave larger Bounds both to our Growth and 

But the third thing we mention'd is the moft 
confiderable^The Decay of the Organick Parts j 
and efpecially of the Organs preparatory to Nu- 
trition. This is the Point chiefly to be examin'd 
ande-xpkinM, and therefore we will endeavour 
to ftate it fully and diftinftly. There are fe- 
veral Funftions in the Body of an Animal, and 
feveral Organs for the Condu(5l of them ; and 

I am 

288 The Theory of the Earth: 
I am of Opinion, that all the Organs of the . 
Body are in the Nature of Springs, and that 
their Adion is tonical. The Aftion of the 
Mufcles is apparently fo, and fo is that of the 
Heart and the Stomach ; and as for thofe Parts, 
that make Secretions only, as thQ Glandules and 
Pare?ichy?natay if they be any more than merely 
paflive, as Strainers, 'tis the Tone of the Parts, 
when diftended, that performs the Separation: 
And accordingly in all other aftive Organs, the 
Action proceeds from a Tone in the Parts. 
And this feems to be eafily prov'd,both as to our 
Bodies, and all other Bodies ; for no Matter 
that is not fluid, hath any Motion or Adion 
in it, but in virtue of fome Tone ; if Matter 
be fluid, its Parts are aftually in Motion, and 
confequently may impel or give Motion to o- 
ther Bodies; but if it be folid or confiftent, 
the Parts are not feparate or feparately mov'd 
from one another, and therefore cannot impel 
or give motion to any other, but in virtue of 
their Tone ; they having no other Motion them- 
felves. Accordingly we fee in Artificial Ma- 
chines there are but two general Sorts, thofe 
that move by fome fluid or volatile Matter, as 
Water, Wind, Air, or fome aftive Spirit; 
and thofe which move by Springs, or by the 
Tonick Difpofition of fome Part that gives 
Motion to the reft : For as for fuch Machines 
as acS by Weights, 'tis not the Weight that is 
the active Principle, but the Air or iEther 
that impels it. 'Tis true, the Body of an Ani- 
mal is a kind of mixt Machine, and thofe Or- 
gans that are the primary Parts of it, partake of 


Concerning the Trim. Earthy and Faradife. 1 8p 
both thefe Principles; for there are Spirits and 
Liquors that do afTift in the Motions of the 
Mufcles, of the Heart and of the Stomach ; but 
we have no Occafion to confider them at pre- 
fent, but only the Tone of the folid Organs. 

This being obferv'd in the firft Place^ where^ 
in the Force of our Organs confifts, we might 
here immediately fubjoin, how this Force is 
weaken'd and deftroy'd by the unequal Courfe 
of Nature which now obtains, and confequent- 
ly our Life fliorten'd ; for the whole State and 
Oeconomy of the Body depends upon the Force 
and A(ftion of thefe Organs. But to under- 
ftand the Biifinefs more diftindly, it will be 
worth our Time to examine upon which of 
the Organs of the Body Life depends more im- 
mediately, and the Prolongation of it,- that fo 
reducing our Inquiries into a narrower Com- 
pafs, we may manage them with more Eafe 
and more Certainty. 

In the Body of Man there are feveral Com- 
fages^ or Sets of Parts, fome whereof need 
not be confider'd in this Qiieftion ; there is 
that Syftem that ferves for Senfe and local Mo- 
tion, which is commonly call'd the ANI- 
MAL Compages j and that which ferves for 
Generation, which is call'd the GENITAL. 
Thefe have no Influence upon long Life, being 
Parts nourifhed, not nourifiiing, and that are 
fed from others as Rivers from their Fountain : 
Wherefore having laid thefe afide, there re- 
main two Compages more, the NATU- 
RAL and VITAL, which confifl of the 
Heart and Stomach-, with their Appendages. 

Book II. ' ^ U Thefe 

igo The Theory of the Ear "r h. 
Thefe are the Sources of Life, and thefe are 
all that is abfolutely neceifary to the Conftitu- 
tion of a living Creature j what Parts we 
find more, few or many, of one fort or other, 
according to the feveral Kinds of Creatures, is 
accidental to our Purpofe : The Form of an 
Animal, as we are to confider it here, lies in 
this little Compafs, and what is fuperadded is 
for fome new Purpofes befides that of m.ere 
Life, as for Senfe, Motion, Generation, and 
fuch like. As in a Watch, befide the Move- 
ment, which is made to tell you the Hour of 
the Day, which conftitutes a Watch ^ you may 
have a Fancy to have an Alarm added, or a 
Minute-motion, or that it fliould tell you the 
Dviy of the Month i and this fometimes will 
require a new Spring, fometimes only new 
Wheels^ however, if you would examine the 
Nature of a Watch, and upon what its Mo- 
tion^ or, if I may fo foy, its Life dependsj you 
nuift lay afide thofe fecondary Movements, and 
obferve the main Spring, and the Wheels that 
immediately depend upon that, for all the reft 
is accidental. So for the Life of an Animal, 
which is a Piece of Nature's Clock-work, if 
we would examine upon what the Duration of 
it depends, we muft lay a fide thofe additional 
Parts or Syftems of Parts, which are for other 
Purpofes, and confider only the firft Principles 
and Fountains of Life, and the Caufes of their 
natural and neceffary Decay. 

Having thus reduc'd our Inquiries to thefe 
two Organs, the Stomach ai:d the Heart, as 
the two Mafter-Springs in the Mechanifm of 


Concerningthe Prim. Earth, andFaradife. 2 pi 
an Animal, upon which all the refl: depend, 
let us now fee what their Adion is, and how 
it will be more or l^k durable and conflant, 
according to the different States of external 
Nature. We determin'd before, that the 
Force and Adion of all Organs in the Body was 
tonical, and of none more remarkably than of 
thefe two, the Heart and Stomach ^ for tho' 
it be not clearly determin'd what the particu- 
lar Strudure of thefe Organs, or of their Fi- 
bres is, that makes them tonical, yet 'tis ma- 
nifefl by their Adions that they are {0. In the 
Stomach, befides a peculiar Ferment that o- 
pens and dilTolves the Parts of the Meat, and 
melts them into a Fluor or Pulp^ the Goats of: 
it, or Fibres whereof they coniift, have a Mo- 
tion proper to them, proceeding from their 
Tone, whereby they clofe the Stomach, and 
comprefs the Meat when it is receiv'd, and 
when turn'd into Chyle, prefs it forwards, and 
fqueeze it into the Inteftines ; and the Intef- 
tines alfo partaking of the fame Motion, pufii 
and work it ftill forwards into thofe little 
Veins that convey it towards the Heart. The 
Heart hath the fame general Motions with the 
Stomach, of opening and {hutting, and hath 
alfo a peculiar Ferment which rarifies the 
Blood that enters into it 5 and that Blood, by 
the Spring of the Heart, and the particular 
Texture of its Fibres, is thrown out again to 
make its Circulation thro' the Body. This is, 
in fliort, the Adion of both thefe Organs ,• 
and indeed the Myftery of the Body of an 
Animal, and of its Operations and Oeconomy, 

U 2 confifts 

192 The Theory of the Earth. 

confifts chiefly in Springs and Ferments • the 

one for the folid Parts, the other in the fluid. 

But to apply this Fabrick of the organick 
Parts to our purpofe, we may obferve and 
conclude, that whatfoever weakens the Tone 
or Spring of thefe two Organs, which are the 
Bafes of all Vitality, weaken the Principle of 
Life, and fliorten the natural Duration of it ; 
and if of two Orders or Courfes of Nature, 
the one be favourable and eafy to thefe to- 
nick Principles in the Body, and the other un- 
eafy and prejudicial, that Courfe of Nature 
will be attended with long Periods of 
Life, and this with fliort. And we have 
Ihewn, that in the primitive Earth the Courfe 
of Nature was even, fteady and unchangeable, 
without either different Qualities of the Air, 
or unequal Seafons of the Year, which muft 
needs be more eafy to thefe Principles we 
fpeak of, and permit them to continue longer 
in their Strength and Vigour, than they can 
poffibly do under all thofe Changes of the 
Air, of the Atmofphere, and of the Hea- 
vens, which we now fuifer yearly, monthly, 
and daily. And tho' facred Hiftory had not 
acquainted us with the LongjEvity of the An- 
tediluvian Patriarchs, nor profane Hiftory with 
thofe of the Golden Age, I fliould have con- 
cluded from the Theory alone, and the Con- 
templation of that State of Nature, that the 
Forms of all Things were much more perma- 
nent in that World than in ours, and that the 
Lives of Men and all other Animals had 

longer Periods. 

I con- 

Concerning the Trim. Earth ^ andParadife. ipj 
I confefs, I am of Opinion, that Yis this 
that makes not only thefe living Springs or 
tonick Organs of the Body, but all artificial 
Springs alfo, tho' made of the hardcft Metal, 
decay fo fafl:. The different Preflure of the 
Atmofphere, fometimes heavier, fometimes 
lighter, more rare or more denfe, moift or 
dry, and agitated with different Degrees of 
Motion, and in different Manners ^ this m.uft 
needs operate upon that nicer Contexture of 
Bodies, which makes them tonical or elaflick ; 
altering the Figure or Minutenefsof the Pores, 
and the Strength and Order of the Fibres upon 
which that Propriety depends ; bending and 
unbending , doling and opening the Parts. 
. There is a fubtle and ethereal Element that 
traverfeth the Pores of all Bodies, and when 
'tis firaiten'd and pent up there, or flopt in its 
ufual Courfe and Pafl^ige, its Motion is more 
quick and eager, as a Current of Water, when 
'tis obflruded or runs thro' a narrower Chan- 
nel j and that Strife and thofe Attempts which 
thefe little native Particles make to get free, 
and follow the fame Tracks they did before,do 
ftill prefs upon the Parts of the Body that are 
chang'd, to redrefs and reduce them to their 
firfl: and natural Poflure, and in this confifls the 
Force of a Spring. Accordingly we may ob- 
ferve, that there is no Body that is or will be 
tonical or elailick, if it be left to itfelf, and 
to that Poflure it would take naturally ; for 
then all the Parts are at eafe", and the fubtle 
Matter moves freely and uninterruptedly with- 
in its Pores j but if by Diflention^ or by Coni- 

U 3 predion. 

2P4 '^^^^ Theory of the Earth; 
preflion, or by Flexion^ or any other Way, the 
Situation of the Parts and Pores be fo altered, 
that the Air fometimes 5 but for the moft part 
that fubtiier Element, is uneafy and compreft 
too much, it caufeth that Renitency or Ten- 
dency to Reftitution, which we call the Tone 
or Spring of a Body. Now as this Difpofition 
of Bodies doth far more eafily perifli than their 
Continuity, fo I think there is nothing that 
contributes more to its perifhing (whether in 
natural or artiricial Springs) than the unequal 
Action and different Qiialities of the ^ther^ 
Air, and Atmofphere. 

It will be objeded to us, it may be, that in the 
beginning of the Chapter we inftanc'd in arti- 
ficial Things, that would continue for ever, if 
they had but the Power of nouriftiing them- 
felves, as Lamps, Mills, and fuch likcj why 
then miay not natural Machines that have that 
Power laft for ever ? The Cafe is not the 
fame as to the Bodies of Animals, and the 
Things there inftanc'd in, for thofe were fpring- 
lefs Machines, that ad only by fome external 
Caufe, and not in Virtue of any Tone or in- 
terior Temper of the Parts, as our Bodies do; 
and when that Tone or Temper is deftroy'd, 
no Nourifliment can repair it. There is fome- 
thing, I fay, irreparable in the tonical pifpofi- 
tion of Matter, which when wholly loft can- 
not be reftor'd by Nutrition, Nutrition may 
anfwer to a bare Confumption of Parts i but 
where the Parts are to be. preferv'd in fuch a 
Temperament, or in fuch a Degree of Humi- 
dity and Drineis, Warmth, Rarity or Den/ity, 


Concerning the Trim, Earthy and Famdife, apj 
to make them capable of that Npurifhment, 
as well as of their other Operations, as Or- 
gans, (which is the Cafe of our Bodies) there 
the Heavens, the Air, and external Caufes 
will change the Qualities of the Matter in fpite 
of all Nutrition j and the Qualities of the 
Matter being chang'd, (in a Courfe of Na- 
ture, where the Caufe cannot be taken away) 
that is a Fault incorrigible, and irreparable by 
the Nourifliment that follows, being hinder'd 
of its Eifed by the Indifpolition or Incapacity 
-of the Recipient. And as they fiy, a Fault 
in the firfl: Concoftion cannot be correded in 
the fecond j fo neither can a Fault in the Prere- 
quifites to all the Concodions be corrected by 
any of them. 

I know the Ancients made the Decay and 
Term of Life to depend rather upon the 
Humours of the Body, than the folid Parts, 
and fuppos'd an Hmmdum radicale and a Cali- 
duvi innattim^ as they call them, a radical Moi- 
fture and congenit Heat to be in every Body 
from its Birth and firft Formation , and as thefe 
decay'd^ Life decay'd. But who's wifer for 
this Account, what doth this inftrud us in ? 
We know there is Heat and Moifture in the 
Body, and you may call the one Radical^ and 
the other Innate if you pleafe ; this is but a 
fort of Cant, for we know no more of the 
real phyfical Caufes of that Efted we enquir'd 
into, than we did before. What makes this 
Heat and Moifture fail, -if the Nourifliment 
be good, and all the Organs in their due 
Strength and Temper ? The firft and original 

U 4 Failure 

^ci6 The Theory of the Earth. 
Failure is not in the Fluid, but in the folid 
Parts, which if they continued the fame, the 
Humours would do fo too. Befides, What 
befel this radical Moifture and Heat at the De- 
luge, that it fliould decay fo faft afterwards, 
and laft fo long before ? There is a certain 
Temper, no doubt, of the Juices and Hu- 
mours of the Body, which is more fit than any 
other to conferve the Parts from Drinefs and 
Decay , but the Caufe of that Drinefs and De- 
cay, or other Inability in the folid Parts, whence 
is that, if not from external Nature? 'Tis thi- 
ther we nuiil come at length in our Search of 
the Reafons of the natural Decay of our Bodies, 
we follow the Fate and Laws of that : And, I 
think, by thofe Caufes, and in that Order, that 
we have already defcrib'd and explain'd. 

To conclude this Difcourfe, we may col- 
k6l from it what Judgment is to be made of 
thofe Projedors of Immortality, or Under- 
takers to make Men live to the Age of Me- 
thufalah^ if they will ufe their Methods and 
Medicines : There is but one Method for this. 
To put the Sun into his old Gourfe, or the 
Earth into its nrft Pofture ; there is no other 
Secret to prolong Life ; our Bodies will fym- 
pathize with the general Courfe of Nature , 
nothing can guard us from it, no Elixir, no 
Specific, no Philofophers Stone. But there 
are Enthufiafts in Philofophy, as well as in Re- 
ligion J Men that go by no Principles, but 
their own Conceit -and Fancy, and by a Light 
within, which fnines very uncertainly, and 
[or the moft part leads them cut of the Way 


Concerning the Friin.Earthj andFaradife. igj 
of Truth. And fo much for this Difquifition, 
concerning the Caufes of Long.cvity^ or of the 
long and fliort Periods of Life in the different 
Periods of the World. 

That the Age of the Antediliman Fatrinrchs 
is to be com-puted by Solar or common Tears, 
not by Lunar, or Months. 

Having made this Difcourfe of the unequal 
Periods of Life, only in reference to the An- 
tediluvians and their fam'd Longa^vity, left 
vv^e ihould feem to have proceeded upon an ill- 
grounded and miftaken Suppofition, we are 
bound to take notice of, and confute, that 
Opinion which makes the Years of the Ante- 
diluvian Patriarchs to have been Lunar^ not 
Solar^ and fo would bear us in hand, that they 
liv'd only fo many Months as Scripture faith 
they liv'd Years. Seeing there is nothing 
could drive Men to this bold Interpretation 
but the Incredibility of the Thing , as they 
fancied ; they having no Notions or Hypothefis 
whereby itcouid appear intelligible orpoflible 
to them ; and feeing we have taken away that 
Stumbling-ftone, and fliew'd it not only poffi- 
ble but neceflary, according to the Conftitu- 
tion of that World, that the Periods of Life 
ihould be far longer than in this ; by removing 
the Ground or Occafion of tlieir Mifinterpre- 
tation, we hope we have undeceiv'd them, 
and let them fee that there is no need of that 
Subterfuge, either to prevent an Incongruity, 
jpr fave the Credit of the facred Hiftorian. 


2p8 The Theory of the Earth." 

But as this Opinion is inconfiftent with Na- 
ture truly underftood, fo is it atfo with com- 
mon Hiftory , for befides what I have already 
mention d in the firft Chapter of this Book, 
Jofephiis tells, us, (Lib, i . Jew. Ant. Chap. 4.) 
that the Hiftorians of all Nations, both Greeks 
and Barbariam^ give the fame Account of the 
firft Inhabitants of the Earth ; Manetho, who 
Writ the Story of the Egyptians i. Berofus, who 
Writ the Chaldean Hiftory^ and thofe Authors 
that ha've given us an Account of the Phoenician 
Antiquities , bejides Molus and Hefti^us, and 
Hieronynius the Egyptian , and ainongft the 
Greeks, Hefiodus, Hecateus, Hellanicus, Acu- 
filaus, Ephorus and Nicolaus : JVe have the 
Suffrages of all thefe^ and their co?n?non Confent^ 
that in the firfi Ages of the World Men liv'd a 
thoufand Years, Now we cannot well fuppofe 
that all thefe Hiftorians meant Lunar Years, 
or that they all confpir'd together to make and 
propagate a Fable. 

Laftly, as Nature and profane Hiftory do 
difown and confute this Opinion, fo much 
more doth facred Hiftory , not indeed in pro- 
fefs'd Terms, for Mofes doth not fay that he 
ufeth Solar Years,- but by feveral Marks and 
Obfervarions, or collateral Arguments, it may 
be clearly colleded, that he doth not ufe Lu- 
nar. As firft, becaufe he diftinguiflieth Months 
and Tears in the Hiftory of the Deluge, and 
of the Life of Noah ; for Gen. 7. 11. he faith 
in the fixth hundredth Year of Noah's Life, in 
the fecond Month, (^c. It cannot be imagin'd 
that in the fame Verfe and Sentence thefe two 


Concerningthe Vrhn. Earthy and Paradife. 199 
Terms of Tear and Month Ihould be fo con- 
founded as to fignify the fame thing ; and 
therefore Noah's Years were not the fame with 
Months, nor confequently thofe of the other 
Patriarchs, for we have no Reafon to make any 
Difference. Befides, what ground was there, 
or how was it proper or pertinent to reckon, 
as Mofes does there, firft, fecond, third Month, 
as fo many going to a Year, if every one of 
them was a Year ? And feeing the Deluge be- 
gun in the fixth hundreth Year of Ncah\ Life, 
and in the fecond Month, and ended in the fix 
hundredth and firft Year, {Chap. 8. 13.) the firft 
or fecond Month,allthat was betwixt thcfe two 
Terms, or all the Duration of the Deluge, niade 
but one Year in Noah's Life, or it may be not fo 
much j and we know Mofes reckons a great ma- 
ny Months in the Duration of the Deluge ; fo 
as this is aDenionftration that Noah's Years are 
not to be underftood of Lunar, And to ima- 
gine that his Years are to be underftood one 
way,and thofe of his fellow-Patriarchs another, 
would be an unaccountable Fidion. This Argu- 
ment therefore extends to all the Antediluvians, 
and Noah's Life will take in the Poftdiluvians 
too I for you fee Part of it runs amongft them, 
and ties together the two Worlds : So that if 
we exclude Lunar Years from his Life, we ex- 
clude them from all ,• thofe of his Fathers, and 
thofe of his Children. 

Secondly, If Lunar Years were underftood 
in the Ages of the .Antediluvian Patriarchs, 
the Interval betwixt the Creation and the De- 
luge would be too ihort, and in many Re- 


3 CO The Theory of the E a r t h, 
fpecfts incongruous. There would be but 16^6 
Months from the Beginning of the World to 
the Flood ; which, converted into common 
Years, make but 127 Years and five Months 
for that Interval. This perverts all Chronolo- 
gy, and befides, makes the Number of People 
lo fmall and inconfiderable at the Time of the 
Deluge, that deilroying of the World then 
was not fo much as deftroying of a Country 
Town would be now : For from one Couple 
you cannot well imagine there could arife a- 
bove five hundred Perfons in fo ihort a Time ; 
but if there were a thoufand, 'tis not fo many 
as we have fometimes in a good Country Vil- 
lage. And were the Flood-gates of Heaven 
open'd, and the great Abyfs broken up to de- 
flroy fuchan Handful of People, and the Wa- 
ters rais'd fifteen Cubits above the higheft 
Mountains throughout the Face of the Earth, 
to drown a Parifli or two? is not this morq 
incredible than our Age of the Patriarchs ? 
Befides, This fliort Interval doth not leave 
Room for ten Generations, which we find 
from Jda?n to the Flood, nor allows the Pa- 
triarchs Age enough at the Time when they 
are faid to have got Children. One hundred 
twenty-feven Years for ten Generations is ve- 
ry flrait ; and of thefe you muft take off forty- 
fix Years for one Generation only, or for Noah^ 
for he liv'd fix hundred Years before the Flood, 
and if they were Ltmar^ they, would come 
hovv^ever to forty- fix of our Years ^ fo that for 
the other nine Generations you would have but 
eighty-one Years^ that is, nine Years a-piece ; 


Cone er fling the Prim. Earthy and Paradife. 301 
at which Age they niuft all be fuppos'd to 
have begun to get Children ; which you 
cannot but think a very abfurd Suppofition. 
Thus it would be, if you divide the whole 
Time equally amongft the nine Generations,- 
but if you confider fome fingle Inftances, as 
they are fet down by Mofes^ 'tis jflill worfe; 
for Mal'aleel and his Grandchild Enoch are (liid 
to have got Children at fixty five Years of 
Age, which if you fuppofe Months, they were 
but five Years old at that time ; now 1 ap}:>eal 
to any one, whether it is more incredible that 
Men fhould live to the Age of nine hundred 
Years, or that they fliould beget Children at 
the A^e of five Years. 

You will fay, it may be, 'tis true thefe In- 
conveniencies follow, if our Hebrew Copies 
of the Old Teftament be Authentick : but if 
the Greek Tran flat ion by the Septuagtnt be of 
better Authority, as fome would have it to 
be, that gives a little Relief in this Cafe i for 
the Septuagint make the Diftance from the 
Creation to the Flood fix hundred Years more 
than the Hebrew Text does, and fo give us a 
little more room for our ten Generations: 
And not only fo, but they have fo convenient- 
ly difpos'd thofe additional Years, as to falve 
the other Inconvenience too, of the Patriarchs 
having Children fo young ^ for what Patriarchs 
are found to have got Children fooner than 
the reft, and fo foon, that, upon a Computa- 
tion by Lunar Years, they would be but meer 
Children themfelves at that time, to thefe 
more Years are added, aod plac'd opportunely, 


302 The Theory of the £ a r t h." 
before the time of their getting Children ; fo 
as one can fcarce forbear to think that it was 
done on purpofe to cure that Inconvenience, 
and to fivour and prote(5l the Computation by 
Lunar Years. The thing looks fo like an Ar- 
tifice, and as done to ferve a Turn^ that one 
cannot but have a lefs Opinion of that Chrono- 
logy for it. 

But not to enter upon that Difpute at pre- 
fentj methinksthey have not wrought the Cure 
effedually enough; for with thefe fix hundred 
Lunar Years added, the Sum will be only one 
hundred feventy three common Years and odd 
Months ; and from thefe deducing, as we 
did before, for Ncahy forty fix Years, and for 
Adojn^ or the firft Generation, about eighteen 
(for he was two hundred and thirty Years old, 
according to the Septuagint^ when he begot 
5^^^') there will remain but one hundred and 
nine Years for eight Generations ; which will be 
thirteen Years a piece and odd Months ; a low 
Age to get Children in, and to hold for eight 
Generations together. Neither is the other In- 
convenience, we mention'd, well cur'd by the 
Septuagint Account, namely, the fmall Num- 
ber of People that would be in the World at 
the Deluge; ioi: the Septuagint Account^ if un- 
derftocd of Lunar Years, adds but forty fix 
common Years to the Hebrew Account, and to 
the Age of the World at the Deluge, in which 
time there could be but a very fmall Acceffion 
to the Number of Mankind. So as both thefe 
Incongruities continue, though not in the fame 


Concerning the Frim. Earthy andTarcidife. -jo'j 
degree, and ftand good in either Account, if 
it be underftood of Lunar Years. 

Thirdly, 'Tis manifeft fiom other Texts of 
Scripture, and from other Confiderations, that 
our firft Fathers liv'd very long, and conlidera- 
bly longer than Men have done fince ; whereas 
if their Years be interpreted Lunar^ there is 
not one of them that liv'd to the Age that Men 
do now ,- Methifalah himfelf did not reach 
threefcore and fifteen Years, upon that Inter- 
pretation ; which doth deprefs them not only 
below thofe that liv'd next to the Flood, but 
below all following Generations to this Day ; 
and thofe firft Ages of the World, which were 
always celebrated for Strength and Vivacity, are 
made as weak and feeble as the laft Dregs of 
Nature. We may obferve, that after the Flood 
for fome timey till the priftine Crafis of the 
Body was broken by the new Courfe of Na- 
ture, they liv'd five, four, three, two hun- 
dred Years, and the Life of Men ihorten'd by 
degrees ; but before the Flood , when they 
liv'd longer, there was no fuch Decreafe or 
gradual Declenfion in their Lives. For Noah^ 
who was the laft, liv'd longer than Adam; 
and M-thufalah^ v/ho was hd but two, liv'd 
the longeft of all : So that it was not fimply 
their Diftance from the beginning of the World 
that made them live a fliorter Time, but fome 
Change which happen'd in Nature after fuch a 
Period of Time j namely at the Deluge, when 
the Declenfion begun. Let's fet down the Ta- 
.ble of both Statel . 


304 The Theory of the Earths 

A TABLE of the Ages of the Antediluvian 


'Adam ■■ 930 

Seth ' 912 

Enos ' 905 

Cainan 910 

Mahaleel 895 

Jared 9^2 

Enoch 365 

Methtifalah — 9^9 

JLamech ■ 777 

Noah 950 

A TABLE of the Ages of the Tojldiluvian 
Fathers^ from Shem to Jofeph. 


Slem ■ ' 600 

Arphaxad 438 

Salah . — — -433 

Eber . 464 

Teleg ' 239 

Jieu ■ 239 

Seriig " 230 

Nahor ■ ■ 148 

Terah • 205 

Abraham 175 

l\^aac • 180 

Jacob — — — 147 

Jofej^h r- ' no 


Concern'mg the Trim, Earthy aHclPdradife. 50 j 

From theie Tables we fee that Mens Lives 
were much longer before the FJood^ and next 
after it, than they are now ; which alio is con- 
iirm'd undeniably by Jacob's Complaint of the 
Shortnefs of his Life, in Companion of his 
Forefathers, when lie had liv'd one hundred 
and thirty Years, Ge77. 47. 9. The Days of the 
Tears of my Pilgrmage are an hundred and thir- 
ty Tears i jew and e^vil have the Days of the 
Tears of my Life been^ and ha've not attained un- 
to the Days of the Tears of the Life of my 
Fathers. There were then, 'tis certain, long- 
iiv'd Men in the World before Jacob's Time ; 
when were they, before the Flood or after ? 
We fay both, according as the Tables fhew it. 
But if you count by Lunar Years, there ne- 
ver were any, either before or after^ and Ja- 
cob's Complaint was unjuft and falfe ; for he 
wastheoldeft Man in the World himfelf, or 
at leaft there was none of his Forefathers that 
liv'd io long as he. 

The Patrons of this Opinion muft needs find 
themlelves at a lois, how or where to break 
off the Account of Lunar Years in facred Hi- 
ftory, if they once admit it. If they fay that 
way of counting muft only be extended to the 
Flood, then they make tne Poftdiluvian Fa- 
thers longer liv'd than the Antediluvian ^ did 
the Flood bring in Longsevity < how could 
that be the Cauie of lucti an Effe<ft ? Befides'j 
if they allow the Poftdiluvians to have iiv'd 
fix hundred (common) Years, that being clear- 
ly beyond tiie Standard of our Lives, 1 ihouid 
never flick at tw.o or three hundred Years more 

Book II. X ^ for 

^o6 The Theory of the E a r t h. 
for the firft Ages of the World. If they ex- 
tend their Ltmar Account to the Poftdiluvians 
too, they will ftill be intangled in worfe Ab- 
furdities ; for they niuft make their Lives mi- 
fefably fliort, and their Age of getting Chil- 
dren altogether incongruous and impoflible. 
Nahor^ for Example, when he was but two 
Years and three Months old muft have begot 
Terah^ Abrahatns Father : And all the reft be- 
twixt him and She?n muft have had Children 
before they were three Years old : A pretty 
Race of Pigmies. Then their Lives were pro- 
portionably fliort, for this Nahor liv'd but 
eleven Years and fix Months at this Rate , and 
his Grandchild Abraham^ who is iaid to have 
died in a good old Age^ and full ojTears^ {Gen. 
25. 8.) was not fourteen Years old. What a 
ridiculous Account this gives of Scripture- 
Chronolgy and Genealogies ? But you'll fay, 
it may be, thefe Lunar Years are not to be 
carried fo far as Abraham neither ; tell us then 
where you'll flop, and why you ftop in fuch 
a Place rather than another. If you once take 
in Lunar Years, what Ground is there in the 
Text, or in the Hiftory, that you fliould 
change your way of computing at fuch a Time, 
or in fuch a Place ? All our ancient Chronolo- 
gy is founded upon the Books of Mofes^ where 
the Terms and Periods of Times are expreft 
by Years, and often by Genealogies and the 
Lives of Men : Now if thefe Years are fome- 
times to be interpreted Lunar ^ and fometimes 
Solar^ without any Diftin<Sion made in the 
Text, what Light or certain Rule have we 


Concerning the Vr'wu Earthy andVaradife. Joy 
to go by ? let thefe Authors name to us the 
Parts and Places where, and only where the 
Lunar Years are to be underftood, and I dare 
undertake to fiiow, that their Method is not 
only arbitrary, but abiurd and incoherent. 

To conclude this Dilcourfe, we dannot but 
repeat v/hat we have partly obferv'd before. 
How neceflary it is to underftand Nature, if 
we would rightly underftand thofe Things in 
holy Writ that relate to the natural World, 
For without this Knowledge, as we are apt to 
think fome Things conjfiftent and credible that 
are really impoflible in Nature , fo on the 
other handj we are apt to look upon other 
Things as incredible and impoflible that are 
really founded in Nature. And feeing every 
one is willing fo to expound Scripture, as it 
may be to them good Senfe, and confiftent 
with their Notions in other Things, they are 
forc'd many times to go againft the eafy and 
natural Importance of the Words, and to in-^ 
vent other Interpretations more compliant 
with their Principles, and, as they think, with 
the Nature of Things. We have, I fay, a 
great Inftance of this before us in the Scrip- 
ture-Hiftory of the long Lives of the Ante-di* 
luvians, where,without any Ground or Shadow 
of Ground in the Narration, only to comply 
withamiftaken Philofophy, and their Ignorarxe 
of the primitive World, many Men would 
beat down the Scripture Account of Years in- 
to Months, and fink the Lives of thofe firft 
Fathers below the Rate of the worft of Ages* 
Whereby that great Monument, which Provi- 
X % dencc 

3o8 The Theory of the E a r t h: 
deuce hath left us of the firft World, and of 
its Ditference from the fecond, would not on- 
ly be defac d, but wholly demolifli'd. And 
all this fprung only from the feeming Incredi- 
bility of the Thing ; for they cannot ihow in 
any Part of Scripture, new or old, that thefe 
Lunar Years are made ufe of, or that any Com- 
putation, literal or prophetical, proceeds upon 
them : Nor that there is any Thing in the 
Text or Context of that Place, that argues or 
intimates any fuch Account. We have endea- 
vour'd^ upon this Occafion, effedually to pre- 
vent this Mifconftrudion of facred Hiftory for 
the future ,• both by fliowing the Incongruities 
that follow upon it, and alfo that there is no 
Neceffity from Nature of any fuch Shift or 
Evafion, as that is : But rather on the contra- 
ry, that we have juft and neceffary Reafons to 
conclude. That as the Forms of all Things 
would be far more permanent and lafting in 
that primitive State of the Heavens and the 
Earth ,• fo particularly the Lives of Men, and 
pf other Animals. 

Concerning the Pmi. Earthy and Paradife. 3 op 

Chap. V. 

Concerning the Waters of the primitive Earth : 
What the State of the Regions of the Air tvas 
then 5 and how all Waters proceeded from 
them ; How the Rivers arofe^ what zvas their 
Courfcj and how they ended. Some Things in 
[acred Writ that confirm this Hydrography of 
'the firfi Earth j efpecially the Origin of the 

HAving thus far clear d our Way to Pa- 
radife^ and given a rational Account 
of its general Properties j before we 
proceed to difcourfe of the Place of it, there 
is one Affair of Moment, concerning this pri- 
mitive Earth, that muft rirft be ftated and ex- 
plain'd ; and that is. How it was water'd ; 
from what Caufes, and in what Manner. 
How could Fountains rife, or Rivers flow in 
an Earth of ^hat Form and Nature ? We have 
fliut up the Sea with thick Walls on every 
Side , and taken away all Communica- 
tion that could be 'twixt it and the external 
Earth ; and we have remov'd all the Hills and 
the Mountains where the Springs ufe to rife ; 
and whence the Rivers defcend to w^ater the 
Face of the Ground : And laftly , we have 
left no IlTue for thefe Rivers, no Ocean to re- 
ceive them, nor any other Place to disburden 
tiiemfelves into: So that our new-found World 
h like to be a dry and barren Wildernefs, and 

X 3 fo 

J 10 . The Theory of the Earth* 

fo far from being Paradifiacal^ that it would 

fcarce be habitable. 

I confefs there was nothing in this whole 
Theory that gave fuch a Stop to my Thoughts, 
as tiiis Part of it, concerning the Rivers of the 
firft Earth ; how they rofe, how they flow'd, 
and how they ended. It feem'd at firft, that 
we had wip'd away at once the Notion and 
whole Doctrine of Rivers, we had turn d the 
Earth fo fmoothj that there was not an HiH-or 
Rifing for the Head of a Spring, nor any Fall 
or Defcent for the Courfe of a River : Be- 
fides, I had fuckt in the common Opinion of 
Philofophers, That all Rivers rife from the 
Sea, and return to it again; and both thofe 
Paflages, I fee, were ftopt up in that Earth* 
This gave me occafion to refled: upon the mo- 
dern and more folid Opinion concerning the 
Origin of Fountains and Rivers, That they 
rife chiefly from Rains and melted Snows, 
and not from the Sea alone ,- and as foon as I 
had demur'd in that Particular, I faw it was 
neceflary to confider and examine how the 
Rains fell in that firft Earth, to underftand 
what the State of their Waters and Rivers 
would be. 

And I had no fooner apply'd my felf to that 
Inquiry, but I eafily difcover'd, that the Order 
of Nature in the Regions of the Air would be 
then very different from what it is now, and 
the Meteorology of the World was of ano- 
ther fort from that of the prefent. The Air 
was always calm and equal, there could be no 
violent Meteors there, nor any that proceeded 


Concerning the Trim. Earthy and Paradife, 3 1 i 
from Extremity of Cold ,• as Ice, Snow or 
Hail j nor Thunder neither ; for the Clouds 
could not be of a Quality and Confiftency fit 
for fuch an Effed, either by falling one upon 
another, or by their Difruption. And as for 
Winds, they could not be either impetuous 
or irregular in that Earth ; feeing there were 
neither Mountains nor any other Inequalities 
to obftruft the Courfe of the Vapours ^ nor 
any unequal Seafons, or unequal Adion of the 
Sun, nor any contrary and ftruggling Motions 
of the Air : Nature was then a Stranger to all 
thofe Diforders. But as for watery Meteors, 
or thofe that rife from watery Vapours more 
immediately, as Dews and Rains, there could 
not but be Plenty of thefe in fome Part or 
other of that Earth ; for the A(5lion of the 
Sun in raifing Vapours was very ftrong and 
very conftant, and the Earth was at firft moift 
and foft, and according as it grew more dry, the 
Rays of the Sun would pierce more deep into 
it, and reach at length the great Abyfs which 
lay underneath, and was an unexhaufted Store- 
houfe of new Vapours. But, 'tis true, the 
fame Heat, which extrafted thefe Vapours fo 
copioufly, would alfo hinder them from con- 
denfing into Clouds or Rain in the warmer 
Parts of the Earth ; and there being no Moun- 
tains at that Time, nor contrary Winds, nor 
any fuch Caufes to flop them or comprefs 
them, we muft confider which way they would 
tend, and what their Courfe would be, and 
whether they would any where meet with 
Caufes capable to change or condenfe them ; 

X 4 for 

3X2 The Theory of the E a r t h.^ 

for upon this, 'tis manifeft, would depend the 

Meteors of that Air, and the Waters of that 


And as the Heat of the Sun was chiefly to- 
wards the middle Parts of the Earth, fo the 
copious Vapours rais'd there were moft rari- 
fied and agitated ; and being once in the open 
Air, their Courfe would be that Way, where 
they found leaft Refiftance to their Motion j 
and that would certainly be towards the Pole^, 
and the colder Regions of the Earth. For Eaft 
and Weft they would meet with as warm an 
'Air, and Vapours as much agitated as them- 
felves, which therefore would not yield to 
their Progrefs that Way,- but towards the 
North and the South, they would find a more 
^afy Paflage, the Cold of thofe Parts attraft- 
ing them, as we call it, that is, making way 
to their Motion and Dilatation without much 
Refiftance, as Mountains and cold Places ufu- 
ally draw Vapours from the warmer. So as 
the regular and conftant Courfe of the Va- 
pours of that Earth, which were rais'd chiefly 
about the ^quinodial and middle Parts of it, 
would be towards the extream Parts of it, or 
towards the Poles. 

And in confequence of this, when thefe 
Vapours were arriv'd in thofe cooler Climates, 
and cooler Parts of the Air, they would be 
condens'd into Rain , for wanting there the 
Caufe of their Agitation, namely, the Heat 
of the Sun, their Motion would foon begin 
to languifli, and they would fall clofer to one 
another in the Form of Water. For the Dif- 

Concermng the Trm. Earthy andParadife. 315 
ference betwixt Vapours and Water is only 
gradual, and confifts in this, that Vapours are 
in a flying Motion, feparate and diftant each 
from another ; but the Parts of Water arc in 
a creeping Motion, clofe to one another ; like 
a Swarm of Bees when they are fettled ; as 
Vapours refemble the fame Bees in the Air be- 
fore they fettle together. Now there is no- 
thing puts thefe Vapours upon the Wing, or 
keeps them fo, but a ftrong Agitation by Heat; 
and when that fails, as it muft do in all colder 
Places and Regions, they neceffarily return to 
Water again. Accordingly therefore we muft 
fuppofe they would foon, after they reacht 
thefe cold Regions, be condens'd, and fail 
down in a continual Rain or Dew upon thofe 
Parts of the Earth. I fay a contimial Rsim ; 
for feeing the Adion of the Sun, which rais'd 
the Vapours, was (at that Time) always the 
fame, and the State of the Air always alike, 
nor any crofs Winds, nor any thing elfe that 
could hinder the Courfe of the Vapours to- 
wards the Poles, nor their Condenfation w^hen 
arriv'd there ; 'tis manifefl: there would be a 
conftant Souice or Store-houfe of Waters in 
thofe Parts of the Air, and in thofe Parts of 
the Earth. 

And this, I think, was the eftablifht Order 
of Nature in that World, this was the State 
of the Antediluvian Heavens and Earth ; aU 
their Waters came from above, and that with 
a conftant Supply and Circulation ; for when 
the Croud of Vapours, rais'd about the mid- 
dle Parts of the Earthy found Vent and IfTue 


314 ^^^^ Theory of the E a r t hJ 

this Way towards the PoIes3 the PafTage being 
once open'd, and the Channel made^ the Cur- 
rent woald be ftill continued without In- 
termilTion; and as they were diflblv'd and 
fpent there, they would fuck in more and 
more of thofe which followed, and came in 
frefli Streams from the hotter Climates. A- 
vijiotky I remember, in his Meteors^ fpeaking 
of the Courfe of the Vapours, faith, there is 
a River in the Air, conftantly flowing betwixt 
the Heavens and the Earth, made by the af- 
cending and defcending Vapours : This was 
more remarkably true in the primitive Earth, 
where the State of Nature was more conftant 
and regular ; there was indeed an uninterrupt- 
ed Flood of Vapours riling in one Region of 
the Earth, and flowing to another, and there 
continually diftilling in Dews and Rain, which 
made this aereal River. As may be eafily ap- 
prehended from this Scheme of the Earth and 

Thus we have found a Source for Waters in 
the firft Earth, which had no Communicatfon 
with the Sea ; and a Source that would never 
fail, neither dmiinifli or overflow, but feed 
the Earth with an equal Supply throughout all 
the Parts of the Year. But there is a fecond 
Difficulty that appears at the End of this, how 
thefe Waters would flow upon thfe even Sur- 
fiice of the Earth, or form themfelves into Ri- 
vers ; there being no Defcent or Declivity for 
their Courfe. There were no Hills, nor Moun- 
tains, nor high Lands in the firft Earthy and if 




Concerning the Trim. Earthy and Paradife. 3 1 5 
thefe Rains fell in the Frigid Zones, or towards 
the Poles, there they would ftand in Lakes 
and Pools, having no Defcent one Way more 
than another , and fo the reft of the Earth would 
be no better for them. This, I confefs, appear'd 
as great a Difficulty as the former, and would 
be unanfwerable, for ought I know, if that 
firft Earth was not water'd by Dews only (as 
I betieve fome Worlds are) or had been exact- 
ly Spherical ; but we noted before, that it was 
Oval or Oblong ; and in fuch a Figure 'tis 
manifeft the polar Parts are higher than the 
sequinodtial, that is, more remote from the 
Center, as appears to the Eye in this Scheme. 
This affords us a prefent Remedy, and fets us 
free of the fecond Difficulty ,- for by this Means 
the Waters, which fell about the extreme Parts 
of the Earth, would have a continual Defcent 
towards the middle Parts of it j this Figure gives 
them Motion and Diftribution ; and many Rivers 
and Rivulets would flow from thofe Mother- 
Lakes to refrefli the Face of the Earth, bending 
their Courfe ftill towards the middle Parts of it. 

^i6 The Theory of the E a R t hV 

'Tis true, Thefe Derivations of the Waters 
atfirft would be very irregular and diffufe, till 
the Channels were a little worn and hollow'd ; 
and tho' that Earth was fmooth and uniform, 
yet 'tis impoflible, upon an inclining Surface, 
but that Waters Ciould find a Way of creeping 
downwards, as we fee upon a fmooth Table, 
or a flag'd Pavement, if there be the leaft In- 
clination, Water will flow from the higher to 
the lower Parts of it, either direcSly, or wind-r 
ing to and fro : So the Smoothnefs of that 
Earth would be no Hindrance to the Courfe 
of the Rivers, provided there was a general 
Declivity in. the Site and Libration of it, as 
'tis plain there was from the Poles towards the 
^Equator. The Current indeed would be 
e.afy and gentle all along,, chanced in 
fome Places to reft or be ftopt, it would fpread 
it felf into a pleafant Lake, till by frefli Sup- 
plies it had rais'd its Waters fo high as to over- 
ilow and breaklooie again; then it would pur- 
fue its Way, with many other Rivers its Com- 
jpanions, thra all the temperate. Climates as 
far as the Torrid Zone. 

But you'll fay, When they were got thi- 
ther, what wouid become of them then? How 
would they end or finifli their Courfe ? This 
is the tliird Difficulty concerning the Ending of 
the Rivers in that Earth ; what IfTue could 
they have when they were come to the mid- 
dle Parts of It, whither it feems they all 
tended ? There was no Sea to lofe themfelves 
in, as our Rivers do -, nor any fubterraneous 
Pallliges to throw themfelves into ^ how would 


Concerning the Trim. Earthy and Paradife, 317. 
they die, what would be their Fate at laft ? I 
anfwer. The greater Rivers, when they were 
come towards thofe Parts of the Earth, would 
be divided into many Branches, or a Multi- 
tude of Rivulets ; and thofe would be partly 
exhal'd by the Heat of the Sun, and partly 
drunk up by the dry and fandy Earth. But 
how and in what Manner this came to pafs, re- 
<]uires a little further Explication. 

We muft therefore obferve in the firft Place, 
that thofe Rivers, as they drew nearer to the 
jequinodial Parts, would find a lefs Declivity 
or Defcent of Ground than in the beginning 
or former Part of their Courfe ; that is evi- 
dent from the oval Figure of the Earth, for 
near the middle Parts of an Oval, the Semi- 
diameters, as I may call them, are very little 
Ihorter one than another ; and for this Reafon 
the Rivers, when they were advanc'd towards 
the middle Parts of the Earth, would begin to 
flow more flowly, and, by that Weaknefs of 
their Current, fuffer themfelves eafily to be 
divided anddiftraded into feverallefler Streams 
and Rivulets ; or elfe, having no Force to wear 
a Channel, would lie fliallow upon the Gi'ound 
like a Plafli of Water ; and in both Cafes 
their Waters would be much more exposM to 
the Adion of the Sun, than if they had kept 
togetiier in a deeper Channel, as they were 

Secondly, We muft obferve, that feeing 
thefe Waters could not reach to the Middle of 
the Torrid Zone, for want of Defcent ; that 
Part of the Earth having the Sun always per- 

t pendicular 

'3 1 8 The Theory of the E a r t h- 
pendicular over it, and being refrefli'd by no 
Rivers, would become extremely dry and 
parch'd, and be converted at length into a kind 
of fandy Defart ,• fo as all the Waters that were 
carried thus far, and were not exhal'd and con- 
fum'd by the Sun, would be fuckt up, as in a 
Spunge, by thefe Sands of the Torrid Zone. 
This was the common Grave wherein the Ri- 
vers of the firft Earth were buried j and this is 
nothing but what happens ftill in feveral Parts 
of the prefent Earth, efpecially in Africk^ where 
many Rivers never flow into the Sea, but ex- 
pire after the fame Manner as thefe did, drunk 
up by the Sun and the Sands. And one Arm 
of Euphrates dies, as I remember, amongft 
the Sands of Arabia^ after the Manner of the 
Rivers of the firft Earth. 

Thus we have conquer'd the greateft Diffi- 
culty, in my Apprehenfion, in this whole Theo- 
ry, 10 find out the State of the Rivers in the 
primitive and antediluvian Earth, their Origin, 
Courfe, and Period. We have been forc'd to 
win our Ground by Inches, and have divided 
the Difficulty into Parts, that we might en- 
counter them fingle with more Eafe. The Ri- 
vers of the Earth, you fee, were in moft re- 
fpedts different, and in fome contrary to ours ; 
and if you could turn our Rivers backwards^ 
to run from the Sea towards their Fountain- 
heads, they would more refemble the Courfe 
of thofe Antediluvian Rivers ; for they were 
greateft at their firft fetting out, and the Cur- 
rent afterwards, when it was more weak, and 
the Channel more Ihallow, was divided into 


fuT- %. 





Concerning the Pri?n. Earthy and Paradife, 319 
many Branches and little Rivers ; like the Ar- 
teries in our Body, that carry the Blood j they 
are greateft at firft, and the furtter they go 
from the Heart, their Source, the lefs they 
grow and divide into a Multitude of little 
Branches, which lofe themfelves infenfibly in 
the Habit of the Flelh, as thefe little Floods 
did in the Sands of the Earth. 

Becaufe it pleafeth more, and makes a grea- 
ter Impreflion upon us, to fee Things repre- 
fented to the Eye, than to read their Defcrip- 
tion in Words, we have ventur'd to give a 
Model of the Primeval Earth, with its Zones 
or greater Climates, and the general Order 
and Tracks of its Rivers : Not that we believe 
Things to have been in the very fame Form 
as here exhibited ,• but this may ferve as a ge- 
neral 7i^^^ of that Earth, which may be wrought 
into more Exa<Snefs, according as we are able 
to enlarge or corred our Thoughts hereafter. 
And as the Zones here reprefented refemble 
the Belts or Fafcii£ of Jupiter ^ fo we fuppofe 
them to proceed from like Caufes, if that 
Planet be in an Antediluvian State, as the 
Earth we here reprefent. As for the Polar 
Parts in that firft Earth, I can fay very little of 
them, they would make a Scene by them- 
felves, and a very particular one j the Sun 
would be perpetually in their Horizon, which 
makes me think the Rains would not fall fo 
much there as in the other Parts of the Frigid 
Zones, where accordingly we have made their 
chief Seat and Receptacle. That they flow'd 
t from 

3 2 o The Theory of the Earth; 

from thence in fuch a like Manner as is here 
reprefented, we have already prov'd ; and 
fometimes in their Paflage fwelling into Lakes, 
and towards the End of their Courfe parting 
into feveral Streams and Branches, they would 
water thofe Parts of the Earth like a Garden. 

We have before compared the Branchings of 
thefe Rivers towards the End of their Courfe 
to the Ramifications of the Arteries in the Bo- 
dy, when they are far from the Heart near 
the extream Parts j and fome, it may be, look- 
ing upon this Scheme, would carry the Com- 
parifon further, and fuppofe, that as in the Bo- 
dy the Blood is not loft in the Habit oi the 
Flefli, but ftraind thorough it, and taken 
up again by the little Branches of the Veins ^ 
fo in that Earth the Waters were not loft in 
thofe Sands of the Torrid Zone, but ftrain'd 
or percolated thorough them, and receiv'd in- 
to the Channels of the other Hemifphere. 
This indeed would ih fome Meafure anfwer 
the Notion which feveral of the ancient Fa- 
thers make ufe of, that the Rivers of Paradife 
were trajeded out of the other Hemifphere in- 
to this by fubterraneous Paflages. But I con- 
fefs I could never fee it poffible how fuch a 
Trajedion could be made, nor how they could 
have any Motion, being arriv'd in another He- 
mifphere j and therefore 1 am apt to believe 
that Dodrine amongft the Ancients arofefron\ 
an Entanglement in their Principles: They 
fuppos'd generally, that Faradije was in the 
other Hemifphere, as we fcall have occafion 
to fliow hereafter ; and yet they believ'd that 


Concerning the Vrim'.Earth J andParadifc, 521 
Tygris^ Eupbratcf^ Nile^ and Ganges^ were the 
Rivers of Paradife^ or came out of it j and 
thefe two Opinions they could not reconcile, 
or make out, but by fuppofing that thefe four 
Rivers had their Fountain-heads in the other 
Hemifphere, and by fome wonderful Trajec- 
tion broke out again here. This was the Ex- 
pedient they found out to make their Opinions 
confiftent one with another ; but this is a Me- 
thod to me altogether unconceivable ; and, 
for my part, I do not love to be led out of 
my Depth, leaning only upon Antiquity. How 
there could be any fuch Communication, ei- 
ther above Ground, or under Ground, be- 
twixt the two Hemifpheres, does not appear ; 
and therefore we muft ftill fuppofe the Torrid 
Zone to have been the Barrier betwixt them, 
which nothing could pafs either Way. 

We have now examin'd and determin'd the 
State of the Air, and of the Waters in the 
Primitive Earth, by the Light and Confe- 
quences of Reafon , and we muft not won- 
der to find theni different from the prefent 
Order of Nature ; what things are laid of 
them, or relating to them in Holy Writ, do 
teftify or imply as much ; and it will be worth 
our time to make fome Reflexion upon thofe 
Paffviges for our further Confirmation. Mofes 
tells ^us, that the Rainbow was kt in the 
Clouds after the Deluge ; thofe Heavens then, 
that never had a Rainbow before, were cer- 
tainly of a Conftitution very different from 
ours. And St. Peter, 2 Epji. chap. 3. 1;. 5; 
doth formally and exprefly tell us, that the 
Book II. Y Old 

322 The Theory of the Earth. 
Old Heavens^ or the Antediluvian Heavens 
had a different Conftitution from ours, and 
particularly, that they were compos'd or con- 
ftituted of Water j which Philofophy of the 
Apoftle's may be eafily underftood, if we at- 
tend to two things, firft, that the Heavens he 
fpeaks of were not the Starry Heavens, but the 
Aereai Heavens, or the Regions of our Air, 
where the Meteors are : Secondly, that there 
were no Meteors in thofe Regions, or in thofe 
Heavens, till the Deluge, but watery Meteors, 
and therefore, he fays, they confifted of Wa- 
ter. And this fliows the Foundation upon 
which that Defcription is made, how cohe- 
rently the Apoftle argues, and anfwers the 
Objedion there propos'd : How juftly alfo he 
diftinguifiieth the firft Heavens from the pre- 
fent Heavens, or rather oppofeth them one to 
another , becaufe as thofe were conftituted of 
Water, and watery Meteors only, fo the pre- 
fent Heavens, he faith, have Treafures of Fire, 
fiery Exhalations and Meteors, and a Difpofi- 
tion to become the Executioners of the Di- 
vine Wrath and Decrees in the final Confla- 
gration of the Earth. 

This minds me alfo of the Celeflial Waters^ 
or the Waters above the Firmaments, which 
Scripture fometimes mentions, and which , 
methinks, cannot be explain'd fo fitly and 
emphatically upon any Suppofition as this of 
ours. Thofe who place them above the Starry 
Heavens, feem neither to underftand Aftro- 
iiomy nor Philofophy ; and, on the other hand, 
if nothing be underfiood by them, but the 


Concerning the Trim. Earthy and Paradife. 323 
Clouds and the middle Region of the Air, as 
it is at prefent, methinks that was no fuch 
eminent and remarkable thing as to defervQ 
a particular Commemoration by Mofes in his 
fix Days Work ,• but if we underftand them, 
not as they are now, but as they were then, 
the only Source of Waters, or the only Source 
of Waters upon that Earth, (for they had not 
.one Drop of Water but what was Celeftial,) 
this gives it a new Force and Emphafis : Be- 
fides, the whole middle Region having no 
other fort of Meteors but them, that made it 
ftill the greater Singularity, and more worthy 
Commemoration. As for the Rivers of Para- 
difey there is nothing faid concerning their 
Source, or their IfTue, that is either contrary 
to this, or that is not agreeable to the general 
Account we have given of the Waters and 
Rivers of the firft Earth. They are not faid 
to rife from any Mountain, but from a great 
River, or a kind of a Lake in Eden^ accord- 
ing to the Cufiom of the Rivers of that Earth. 
And as for their End and Iffue, Mofes doth 
not fay, that they disburthen'd themfelves in- 
to this or that Sea, as they ufually do in the 
Defcription of great Rivers, but rather implies 
that they fpent themfelves in compafiing and 
watering certain Countries, which falls in 
again very eafily with our Hypothefif. But I 
fay this rather to comply with the Opinions of 
others, than of my own Judgment : For I think 
that Suggeftion about the Supercoeleftial Wa- 
ters made by Mofes^ was not fo much accord- 
ing to the flrid Nature and Speciality of 

Y 2 Caufes, 

324 The Theory of the E a r t h.' 
Caufes, as for the Eafe and Profit of the 
People, in their Belief and Acknowledgment 
of Providence for fo great- a Benefit, by 
what Caufes foever it was br^ug^ht to pafs. 

But to return to the Rainbow, which 
we mentioned before, and is not to be pafl 
over fo {lightly. This we fay is a Creature 
of the modern World, and was not feen nor 
known before the Flood. Mofes {Gen. 9. 12, 
13.) plainly intimates as much, or rather di- 
redly affirms it; for he fays, the Bow was 
fet in the Clouds after the Deluge, as a Con- 
firmation of the Promife or Covenant which 
God made wath Noah^ that he would drown 
the World no more with Water. And how 
could it be a Sign of this, or given as a Pledge 
and Confirmation of fuch a Promife, if it was 
in the Clouds before, and with no Regard to 
this Promife ?. and flood there, it may be, 
when the World was going to be drown'd. 
This .would have been but cold Comfort to 
Noahyto have had fuch a Pledge of the Divine 
Veracity. You'll fay, it may be, that it was 
not a Sign or Pledge that fignified naturally, 
but voluntarily only, and by Divine Inftitu- 
tion : I am of Opinion, I confefs, that it fig- 
nify'd naturally, and by Connexion with the 
Effeft, importing thus much, that the State 
of Nature was chang'd from what it was be- 
fore, and fo chang'd, that the Earth was no 
more in a Condition to perifli by Water. But 
however, let us grant that it fignified only by 
Inftitution ; to make it fignificant in this Senfe, 
it muft be fomcthing new, otherwife it could 


Concerrihig the Tr'wt. Earthy and Paradife. 325 
not fignify any new thing, or be the Confliv 
mation of a new Promifc. If God Almighty 
had faid to Noab^ I make a Promife to you, 
and to all living Creatures, that the World 
fiiall never be deftroy'd by Water again, and 
for Confirmation of this. Behold, / Jet the 
Sun in the Finnament : Would this have been 
any ftrengthening of Noah's Faith, or any Sa- 
tisfadion to his Mind ? Why, fays Noah^ the 
Sua was in the Firmament when the Deluge 
came,and was a Spectator of that fad Tragedy ; 
why may it not be fo again ? What Sign or 
AfTurance is this againft a fecond Deluge ? 
When God gives a Sign in the Heavens, or 
on the Earth, of any Prophecy or Promife to 
be fulfill'd, it muft be by fomething new, or 
by fome Change wrought in Nature ; where- 
by God doth teftify to us, that he is able and 
willing to ftand to his Promife. God fays to 
jihaz., Ifai. 7. Jsk a Sign of the Lord ; a^k it 
either in the Depths or in the Height abo've: And 
when Ahaz would ask no Sign, God gives 
one unask'd. Behold^ a Virgin fioall conceive 
and bear a Son, So when Zachury^ Luke i , was 
promis'd a Son, he asketh for a Sign, JVhrre- 
by Jloall I know this ? for I am old^ and my Wife 
wellftricken in Tears ; and the Sign given him 
was, that he became dumb, and continued 
fo till the Promife wasfulfiifd. Accordingly, 
when Abraham ask'd a Sign whereby he might 
be afTured of God's Promife that his Seed 
fhould inherit the Land of Canaan^ Gen, 1 5, 
8. 'Tis Hiid (t^-. 17.) When the Sun zvent 
down and it was dark^ behold a [moaking Fur- 

Y 3 nace 

326 The Theory of the Earth. 
7mce and a buYning Lamp faffed betwixt the 
Pieces of the Beafts that he had cut afunder. 
So in other Inftances of Signs given in exter- 
nal Nature^ as the Sign given to King Heze^ 
kiah^ Ifai. 3 8. for his Recovery, and to Gideon 
for his Vidory j to conifirm the Promife made 
to Hezekinh^ J^dge 7. the Shadow went back 
ten Degrees in Ahaz Dial. And for Gideon, 
his Fleece was wet^ and all the Ground about it 
dry I and then to change the Trial, it was dry, 
and all the Ground about it wet. Thefe were 
all Signs very proper, figniHcant, and fatisfac- 
tory, having fomething furprifing and extraor- 
dinary, yet thefe were Signs by Inftitution on- 
ly i and to be fuch they muft have fomething 
new and ftrange, as a Mark of the Hand of 
God, otherwife they can have no Force or 
Significancy. Accordingly, we fee Mo[es him- 
felf in another place fpeaks this very Senfe, 
when in the Mutiny or Rebellion oi Corah ^.nd 
Vathan^ he fpeaks thus to the People, If thefe 
Men die the commmon Death ofMen^ then the 
Lord hath not fent me. But if the Lord 
make a new things and the Earth open her 
Mouth andfwallow the?nup^dcc. then you JJjall 
tmderfiand that thefe Men ha^ve fron)oked the 
Lord^ Num. 2^. 29, 30. So in the Cafe of 
Noah^ if God created a new Creature (which 
are Mofes's Words in the forecited Place) the 
Sign was effedual : But where every thing 
continues to be as it was before, and the 
Face of Nature, in all its Parts, the very fame, 
it cannot fignify any thing new, nor any new 
Intention in the Author of Nature ; and con- 


Concerning the Trim, Earthy mid Varadife. 327 
fequently^ cannot be a Sign or Pledge, a To- 
ken or AfTurance of the Accompliihment of 
any new Covenant or Proniife made by him. 

This, methinks, is plain to common Senfe, 
and to every Man's Reafon y but becaufe it is 
a Thing of Importance, to prove that there 
was no Rainbow before the Flood, and will 
confirm a confiderable Part of this Theory, by 
difcovering what the State of the Air was in 
the old World, give me leave to argue it a lit- 
tle further, and to remove ibme Prejudices 
that may keep others from aflenting to 
clear Reafon. I know 'tis ufually faid, that 
Signs, like Words, fignify any Thing by Infti- 
tution, or may be apply'd to any Thing by 
the Will of the Impofer ; as hanging out a 
white Flag is calling for Mercy ; a Bulh at the 
Door, a Sign of Wine to be fold, and fuch 
like. But thefe are Inftances nothing to our 
Purpofe, thefe are Signs of fomething prefent, 
and that fignify only by Ufe and repeated Ex- 
perience y we are fpeaking of Signs of another 
Nature, given in Confirmation of a Promife, 
or Threatning, or Prophecy, and given with 
Defign to cure our Unbelief, or to excite and 
beget in us Faith in God, in the Prophet, or 
in the Promifer j fuch Signs, I fiy, when they 
are wrought in external Nature, muft be (ome 
new Appearance, and muft thereby induce us 
to believe the EfFed, or more to believe it, 
than if there had been no Sign, but only the 
Affirmation of the Promiier ; ibrotherwiie the 
pretended Sign is a mere Cypher and Super- 
fluity. But a Thing that obtain'd before, and 

Y 4 in 

328 The Theory of the Eakik. 
in the fame Manner, (even when that came to 
pafs, whith we are now promis'd flialj not 
come to pafs again) fignifies no more, than if 
there had been no Sign at all : It can neither 
fignify another Courfe in Nature, nor another 
Purpofe in God ; and therefore is perfedly in- 
iignificant. Some inftance in the Sacraments, 
Jewifh or Chrifiian, and make them Signs in 
fuch a Senfe as the Rainbow is : But thole are 
rather Symbolical Reprefentations or Comme- 
morations 5 and fome of them Marks of Di- 
ftindion and Confecration of our felves to 
God in fuch a Religion ; they were alfo new5and 
very particular when firfl: inftituted j but all 
fuch Inftances fall fnort, and do not reach the 
Cafe before us ; we are fpeaking of Signs con- 
firmatory of a Promife ; when there is fome-^ 
thing affirnVd de future^ and to give us a fur- 
ther Argument of the Certainty of it, and of 
the Power and Veracity of the Promifer, a 
Sign is given : This, we fay, muft indifpenfably 
be fomething new, other wife it cannot have 
the Nature, Virtue, and Influence of a Sign. 
We have feen how incongruous it would be 
to admit that the Rainbow appear'd before 
the Deluge, and how dead a Sign that would 
make it, how forc'd, fruitlefs and ineffectual, 
^s to the Promife it was to confirm : Let us 
now on the other hand fuppofe, that it firft ap- 
peared to the Inhabitants of the Earth after the 
]:)eluge, howproperg and how appofite a Sign 
>^vould this be for Providence to pitch upon, to 
f onfirm the Promife made to Noah and his Po- 
f^m^Yi Th^t the Wory fhould be no more de- 


Concerning the Trim, Earthy and Paradife. J29 
ftroy'd by Water ? It had a fecret Connexion 
with the Effed it felf, and was fo far a natural 
Sign i but however, appearing firft after the 
Deluge, and in a watery Cloud, there was, 
niethinks, a great Eafinefs and Propriety ot 
Application for fuch a purpofe. And if we 
fuppofe, that while God Almighty was decla- 
ring his Promife to Noah^ and the Sign of it, 
there appeared at the fame Time in the Clouds 
a fair Rainbow, that marvellous and beautiful 
Meteor, which Noah had never feen before ; 
it could not but make a moft lively Impreirion 
upon him, quickning his Faith, and giving him 
Comfort and Atfarance that God would be 
ftedfaft to his Promife. 

Nor ought we to wonder that Interpreters 
have commonly gone the other Way, and fup- 
pos'd that the Rainbow was before the Flood ; 
this, I fay, was no Wonder in them, for they 
had no Hypothefi^ that could anfwer to any 
other Interpretation : And in the Interpreta- 
tion of the Texts of Scripture that concern na- 
tural Things,they commonly bring them down 
to their own Philofophy and Notions : As we 
have a great Inftance in that Difcourfe of St. Pe- 
ter Sy (2 Epifl. c. 3. 5.) concerning the Deluge 
and the Antediluvian Heavens and Earth,which, 
for want of a Theory, they have been fcarce 
able to make Senfe oi j for they have forcedly 
apply'd to the prefent Earth, or the prefent 
Form of the Earth, what plainly reipcfted 
another. A like Inftance we have in the 
Mofaical Abyfs, or Tehoin-Ka'jba^ by whofe 
Plfruption the Deluge was made ^ this they 


330 The Theory of the E a r t h. 

knew not well what to make of, and fo have 
generally interpreted it of the Sea, or of our 
fubterraneous Waters ; without any Propriety 
either as to the Word, or as to the Senfe. A 
third Inftance is this of the Rainbow, where 
their Philofophy hath mifguided them again ; 
for to give them their due, they do not al- 
ledge, nor pretend to alledge any Thing from 
the Text, that fliould make them interpret 
thus, or think the Rainbow was before the 
Flood ; but they pretend to go by certain Rea- 
fons , as that the Clouds were before the 
Flood, therefore tlie Rainbow ; and if the 
Rainbow was not before the Flood, then all 
Things were not made within the fix Days 
Creation : To whom thefe Reafons are con- 
vidive, they muft be led into the fame Belief 
with them, but not by any Thing in the Text, 
nor in the true Theory, at leaft if ours be fo ,• 
for by that you fee that the Vapours were ne- 
ver condens'd into Drops, nor into Rain in the 
temperate and inhabited Climates of that 
Earth, and confequently there could never be 
the Produdion or Appearance of this Bow in 
the Clouds. Thus much concerning the Rain- 

To recolle(5i: our felves, and conclude this 
Chapter, and the whole Difquifition concern- 
ing the Waters of the primitive Earth ,• we 
feem to have fo well flitisfied the Difficulties 
proposed in the Beginning of the Chapter, that 
they have rather given us an Advantage , a 
better Difcovery, and fuch a new Profped of 
that Earth, as makes it not only habitable, but 



Concerning the Trim. Earthy and Paradife. 3 3 
more fit to be Paradifiacal. The Pleafantnefs 
of the Site o( Paradife is made to confift chief- 
ly in two Things, its Waters, and its Trees, 
{Ge?2. 2. and Chap. 13. 10. EzeL 31.8.) and 
confidering the Richnefs of that firft Soil in the 
primitive Earth, it could not but abound in 
Trees, as it did in Rivers and Rivulets , and 
be wooded like a Grove, as it u^as water'd 
like a Garden, in the temperate Climates of 
it, fo as it would not be, methinks, fo diffi- 
cult to find one Paradife there, as not to find 
more than one. 

Chap. VI. 

'A Recollection and Re'view of what hath been 
[aid concerning the Primiti've Earth ; with a 
more full Surnjey of the State of the fir fl Worlds 
Natural and Ci'vil^ and the Co?nparifon of it 
with the frefent World. 

WE have now, in a good Meafure, fi- 
nifli'd our Defcription of the firft and 
antediluvian Earth : And as Travel- 
lers, when they fee frrange Countries, make 
it part of their Pieafure and Improvement, to 
compare them with their owmi, to obferve the 
Differences, and wherein they excel, or come 
Ihort of one another : So it will not be un- 
pleafant, nor unufeiul, it may be, having made 
a Difcovery, not of a new Country, but of a 
new World, and travei'd it over in our 
Thoughts and Fancy, now to fit down and 
compare it with our own : And 'twill be no 


332 The Theory of the Earth. 
hard Task, from the general Differences which 
we have taken Notice of already, to ob- 
ferve what lefler would arife, and what the 
whole Face of Nature would be. 

'Tis alfo one Fruit of travelling, that by 
feeing Variety of Places, and People, of Hu- 
mours, Fafhion5, and Forms of Living, it 
frees us, by degrees, from that Pedantry and 
Littlenefs of Spirit, whereby we are apt to 
cenfure everything for abfurd and ridiculous, 
that is not according to our own Way, and 
the Mode of our own Country : But if, ih- 
ftead of croffing the Seas, we could waft our 
felves over to our neighbouring Planets, we 
Ihould meet with fuch Varieties there, both 
in Nature and iMankind, as would very much 
enlarge our Thoughts and Souls, and help to 
cure thofe Difeafes of little Minds, that make 
them troublefome to others, as well as un- 
eafy to themfelves. 

But feeing our heavy Bodies are not made 
for fuch Voyages, the beft and greateft thing 
W'e can do in this kind, is to make a Survey 
and Refiedion upon the antediluvian Earth, 
which in fome Senfe was another World from 
thi:;, and, it may be, as different as fome two 
Planets are from one another. We have de- 
clared already the general Grounds upon which 
we muft proceed, and muft now trace the 
Confequences of them, and drive them down 
into Particulars, which will ihew us in moft 
things, wherein that Earth, or that World, 
differed from the prefent. The Form of that 
Earth, and its Situation to the Sun, were two 


Co?2cernirig the Fri??i. Earthy andParadife, 333 
of its moft fundamental Differences from ours: 
As to the Form of it, 'twas all one fmooth 
Continent, one continued Surface of Earth, 
without any Sea, any Mountains, or Rocks ; 
any Holes, Dens or Caverns : And the Situa- 
tion of it to the Sun was fuch as made a per- 
petual Equinox. Thefe two join'd together, 
lay the Foundation of a new Aftronomy, Me- 
teorology, Hydrography and Geography i fuch 
as were proper and peculiar to that World. 
The Earth by this Means having its Axis 
parallel to the Axis of the Ecliptick, the 
Heavens would appear in another Pofture ; 
and their diurnal Motion, which is imputed 
to the Vrimtim Mobile^ and fuppos'd to be up- 
on the Poles of the Equator, would then be 
upon the fame Poles with the fecond and pe- 
riodical Motions of the Orbs and Planets, 
namely, upon the Poles of the Ecliptick, by 
which Means the Ph^no?nena of the Heavens 
would be more fimple and regular, and much 
of that Entanglednefs and Perplexity, which 
we find now in Aftronomy, would be taken 
away. Whether the Sun and Moon would 
fuffer any Eclipfes then, cannot well be de- 
ter min'd, unlefs one knew what the Courfe 
of the Moon was at that time, or whether 
flie was then come into our Neighbourhood : 
Her Prefence feems to have been lefs need- 
ful when there were no long Winter Nights, 
nor the great Pool of the Sea to move or go- 

As for the Regions of the Air and the Me- 
teors, we have in the preceding Chapter fet 


3 54 '^^^ Theory of the E a r t h. 
down what the State of them would be, and 
in how much a better Order, and more peace- 
able, that Kingdom was, till the Earth was 
broken and dii'plac'd, and the Courfe of Na- 
ture chang'd : Nothing violent, nothing fright- 
ful, nothing troublefome or incommodious to 
Mankind, came from above, but the Coun- 
tenance of the Heavens was always fmooth 
and ferene. I have often thought it a very 
defirable Piece of Power, if a Man could but 
command a fair Day, when he had occafion for 
it, for himfelf, or for his Friends ; 'tis more 
than the greateft Prince or Potentate upon 
Earth can do ; yet they never wanted one in 
that World, nor ever faw a foul one. Befides, 
they had conftant Breezes from the Motion of 
the Earth, and the Courfe of the Vapours, 
which cool'd the open Plains, and made the 
Weather temperate, as well as fair. But we 
have fpoken enough in other Places upon this 
Subjeft of the Air and the Heavens, let us 
now defcend to the Earth. 

The Earth was divided into two Hemi- 
fpheres, feparated by the Torrid Zone, which 
at that time was uninhabitable, and utterly 
unpaflable ; fo as the two Hemifpheres made 
two diftinft Worlds, which, fo far as we can 
judge, had no manner of Commerce or Com- 
munication one with another. The Southern 
Hemifpi:.ere the Ancients call'd /mtichthon^ the 
Oppofite Eartl\ or the Other World. And this 
Name and Notion remain'd long after the 
Reafon of it had ceas'd. Juft as the Torrid 
Zone was generally accounted uninhabitable 


Concerning the Vrim. Earth, and Paradife. 335 
by the Ancients, even in their Time, becaufe 
it really had been fo once, and the Tradition 
rem.?in'd uncorreded, when the Caufes were 
taken away ; namely, when the Earth had 
chang'd its Pofture to the Sun after the De- 

This may be look'd upon as the firfl: Divi- 
fion of that primaeval Earth, into two Hemi- 
fpheresj naturally fever'd and difunited : But 
it was alfo divided into five Zones, two Fri- 
gid, two Temperate, and the Torrid betwixt 
them. And this Diftindion of the Globe into 
five Zones, I think, did properly belong to that 
original Earth, and primitive Geography, and 
improperly, and by Tranflation only, to the 
prefent. For all the Zones of our Earth are 
habitable, and their Diftindions are in a man- 
ner but imaginary, not fix'd by Nature,- where- 
as in that Earth where the Rivers faiFd, and 
the Regions became uninhabitable, by rea- 
fon of Drinefs and Heat, there begun the 
Torrid Zone ; and where the Regions became 
uninhabitable by reafon of Cold and Moi- 
fture, there begun the Frigid Zone ,• and thefe 
being determin'd they became Bounds on ei- 
ther fide to the Temperate. But all this was 
alter'd when the Pofture of the Earth was 
chang'd ; and chang'd for that .very purpofe, 
as fome of the Ancients have faid. That the 
uninhabitable Farts of the Earth might become 
habitable. Yet though there was fo much of 
the firft Earth uninhabitable, there remained 
as much to be inhabited as we have now ; for 
the Sea, fince the Breaking up of the Abyfs, 


33^ The Theory of the E a r t h; 
hath taken away half of the Earth from us, 
a great part whereof was to them good Land. 
Befides, we are not to fupppofe, that the 
Torrid Zone was of that Extent we make it 
now, twenty three Degrees and more on ei- 
ther fide of the Equator : Thefe Bounds are 
fet only by the Tropicks, and the Tropicks 
by the Obliquity of the Courfe of the Sun, or 
of the Pofture of the Earth, which was not 
in that World. Where the Rivers (lop'd, there 
the Torrid Zone would begin, but the Sun 
was diredly perpendicular to no part of it but 
the middle. 

How the Rivers flow'd in the firft Earth 
we have before explained fufficiently, and 
what Parts the Rivers did not reach, were 
turn'd into Sands and Defarts by the Heat of 
the Sun , for I cannot eafily imagine, that the 
fandy Defarts of the Earth were made fo at 
firft, immediately and from the beginning of 
the World ^ from what Caufes fliould that 
be, and to what purpofe in that Age ? But 
in thofe Tracks of the Earth that were not 
refrelh'd with Rivers and Moifture, which 
cement the Parts, the Ground would moul- 
der and crumble into little Pieces, and then 
thofe Pieces by the Heat of the Sun were 
bak'd into Stone. And this would come to 
pafs chiefly in the hot and fcorch'd Regions 
of the Earth, though it might happen fome- 
times where there was not that Extremity of 
Heat, if by any Chance a Place wanted Rivers 
and Water to keep the Earth in due Tem- 
per i but thofe Sands would not be fo early 


Conceriiing the Trim. Earthy and Paradife. 337 
or ancient as the other. As for greater 
loofe Stones, and' rough Pebbles, there were 
none in that Earth -, Deucalion and Pyrrha, 
when the Deluge was over, found new made 
Stones to caft behind their Backs ^ the Bones 
of their Mother Earth, which then were bro- 
ken in Pieces, in that great Ruine. 

As for Plants and Trees, we cannot ima- 
gine but that they muft needs abound in the 
Primitive E I'rth, feeing it was fo well wa- 
tered, and had a Soil fo fruitful ^ a new un- 
labour'd Soil, replenifh'd with the Seeds of 
all Vegetables ; and a warm Sun that would 
call upon Nature early for her Firft-fruits, to 
be offer'd up at the beginning of her Courfe. 
Nature had a wild Luxuriancy at firfi, which 
humane Induftry by degrees gave Form and 
Order to : The Waters fiow'd with a con- 
ftant and gentle Current, and were eafily led 
which way the Inhabitants had a Mind, for 
their Ufe,' or for their Pleafure ; and fhady 
Trees, which grow befl in moift and warm 
Countries, grac'd the Banks of their Rivers 
or Canals. But that which was the Beauty 
and Crown of all, was their perpetual Spring, 
the Fields always green, the Flowers always 
frefli, and the Trees always cover'd with 
Leaves and Fruit : But we have occafionally 
1 poken of thefe things in feveral Places, and 
may do again hereafter , and therefore need 
not enlarge upon them here. 

As for Subterraneous Things, Metals and 
Minerals, I believe they had none in the firft 
Earth , and the happier they ; no Gold, nor 

Book II. Z Silver^ 

338 The Theory of the E a r t h. 
Silver, nor coarfer Metals. The Ufe of thefe 
is either imaginary, or in fuch Works, as, by 
the Conftitution of their World, they had 
little Occaiion for. And Minerals are either 
for Medicine^ which they had no need of 
further than Herbs ; or for Materials to cer- 
tain Arts, \vhich were not then in ufe, or 
were fupplied by other ways. Thefe fub- 
terraneous Things, Metals and metallick Mi- 
nerals, are faditious, not original Bodies, co- 
seval with the Earth ; but are made in Pro- 
cefs of Time, after long Preparations and Con- 
codions, by the Adion of the Sun within the 
Bowels of the Earth. And if the Stamina or 
Principles of them rife from the lower Re- 
gions that lie under the Abyfs, as I am apt to 
think they do, it doth not feem probable that 
they could be drawn thro' fuch a Mafs of Wa- 
ters, or that the Heat of the Sun could on a 
fudden penetrate fa deep, and be able to 
loofen them, and raife them into the exterior 
Earth. And as the firft Age of the World 
was call'd Golden^ though it knew not what 
Gold was j fo the following Ages had their 
Names from feveral Metals, which lay then 
afleep in the dark and deep Womb of Na- 
ture, and faw not the Sun till many Years and 
Ages afterwards. 

Having run through the feveral Regions of 
Nature, from Top to Bottom, from the 
Heavens to the lower Parts of the Earth, and 
made fome Obfervations upon their Order in 
the antediluvian World ; let us now look up- 
on Man^nd other living Creatures^ that make 


Concerning the Trim. Earthy and Paradije. 339 
the fuperior and animate Part of Nature. We 
have obferv'd, and fufficiently fpoken to that 
Difference betwixt the Men of the old World, 
and thofe of the prefent^ in Point of Longjse- 
vity, and given the Reafons of it ^ but we 
muft not imagine that this long Life was pe- 
culiar to Manj all other Animals had their 
Share of it, and were in their Proportion lon- 
ger-liv'd than they are now. Nay, not only 
Animals, but alfo Vegetables ; and the Forms 
of all living Things were far more permanent : 
The Trees of the Field and of the Foreft, in 
all Probability, out-lafted the Lives of Men ; 
and I do not know but the firft Groves of Pines 
and Cedars that grew out of the Earth, or that 
were planted in the Garden of God, might be 
ftanding when the Deluge came, {Ezek. 31* 
8.) and fee, from firft to laft, the entire Courfe 
and Period of a World. 

We might add here, with St. Auftiit^ {Civ. 
Deiy lib. 1 5. c. 9.) another Obfervation, both con- 
cerning Men and other living Creatures in the 
firft World, that they were greater as well as 
longer-liv'd, than they are at prefent.Thisfeems 
to be a very reafonable Conjecture ; for the 
State of every Thing that hath Life is divided 
into the Time of its Growth, its Confiftency, 
and its Decay ; and when the whole Duration 
is longer, every one of thefe Parts, tho' not 
always in like Proportions, will be longer. We 
muft fuppofe then, that the Growth both in 
Men and other Animals lafted longer in that 
World than it doth now, and confequently 
carried their Bodies both to a greater Height 

Z a and 

'340 The Theory of the Earth. 
and Bulk. And in like Manner, their Trees 
xvould be both taller, and every Way bigger 
than ours ; neither were they in any Danger 
there to be blown down by Winds and Storms,. 
or ftruck with Thunder, tho' they had been 
as high as the Egyptian Pyramids j and what- 
foever their Height w^ds^ it' they had Roots and 
Trunks proportionable, and were ftreight and: 
well pois'd, they would ftand firm, and with, 
a greater Majefty. The Fowls of Heave/i jna- 
king their Nefts in their Boughs^ and imder their 
Shadow the Beafls of the Field bVmging forth 
their Toiing. When Things are fairly poffible. 
in their Caufes, and poflible in feveral Degrees, 
higher or lower, 'tis Weaknefs of Spirit in us, 
to think there is nothing in Nature^ but in- 
that one Way, or in that one Degree, that we 
are us'd to. And whofoever believes thofe 
Accounts given us, both by the Ancients {Flin, 
/. 7. c. 2. Strab. I. 17.) and Moderns, (Jrlort, 
'Malabar, "vol. 3.) of the Indian Trees, will 
not think it ftrange that thofe of the firft Earth 
fiiould much exceed any that we now fee in 
this World. That allegorical Defcription of 
the Glory of Affyria in Ezekiel^ Chap, 3 1 . by 
Allufion to Trees, and particularly to the 
Trees of Paradife^ was chiefly, for the Great- 
nefs and Statelinefs of them ; and there is all 
Fairnefs of Reafon to beheve, that in that firft 
Earth, both the Birds of the Air, and the 
Beafts of the Field, and the Trees and their 
Fruit, -were all in their feveral Kinds more 
large and goodly than Nature produces any 


Concerning the Tr'wuEarth^ andFaradife, 541 
So much in fhort concerning the natural 
World, inanimate or animate -, we mould now 
take a Profped of the moral World of that 
time, or of th^ civil and artificial World -, what 
the Order and Oeconomy of thefe was, what 
the Manner of Living, and how the Scenes of 
humane Life were different from ours at pre- 
fent. The Ancients, efpecially the Poets, in 
their Defciiption of the golden Age, exhibit 
to us an Order of Things, and a Form of 
Life, very remote from any Thing we fee in 
our Days ,• but they are not to be trufted in all 
Particulars ,- many times they exaggerate Mat- 
ters on purpofe, that they may feem more 
ftrange, or more great, and by that Means 
move and pleafe us more. A Moral or Philo- 
fophick Hiftory of the World, well writ, would 
certainly be a very ufeful Work, to obferve 
and relate how the Scenes of humane Life 
have changed in feveral Ages, the Modes and 
Forms of Living, in what Simplicity Men be- 
gun at firft, and by what Degrees they came 
out of that Way, by Luxury, Ambition, Im- 
provement, or Changes in Nature ; then what 
new Forms and Modifications were fuperadd- 
ed by the Invention of Arts, what by Reli- 
gion, what by Superftition. This would be a 
View of Things more inftrudive, and more 
fatisiadory, than to know what Kings reign'd 
in fuch an Age, and what Battles were fought ^ 
which coriimon Hiftory. teacheth, and teach- 
eth little more: ' Such Affairs are but the little 
Under-plots in the Tragi-comedy of the World ; 
the main Defisn is of another Nature, and of 

Z 3 far 

342 The Theory of the Earth. 

fcir greater Extent and Confequence. But to 

return to the Subjeift. 

As the animate World depends upon the 
inanimate, fo the civil World depends upon 
them both, and takes its Meafures from them j 
Nature is the Foundation ftill, and the Affairs 
of Mankind are a Superftrufture that will be 
always proportion'd to it. Therefore we muft 
look back upon the Model or PiiSure of their 
natural World, which we have drawn before, 
to make our Conjedures or Judgment of the 
civil and artificial, that were to accompany it, 
We obferv'd from their perpetual ^Equinox, 
and the Smoothnefs of the Earth, that the Air 
v/ould be always calm, and the Heavens fair, 
no cold or violent Winds, Rains, or Storms, 
no Extremity of Weather in any kind, and 
therefore\they would need little Protedion 
from the Injuries of the Air in that State j 
whereas now one great Part of the Affairs of 
Life is to preferve our felves from thofe Incon- 
Veniencies, by building and cloathing. How ma- 
ny Hands, and how many Trades are employed 
about thefe two Things ? which then were in 
a manner needlefs, or at leafl: in fuch Plainnefs 
and Simplicity, that every Man might be his 
own Workman. Tents and Bowers would 
keep them from all Incommodities of the Air 
and Weather, better than Stone Walls and 
ftrong Roofs defend us now ,• and Men are apt 
to take the eafieft Ways of Living, till Necei- 
fity or Vice put them upon others that are 
more laborious, and niore artificial. We alfo 
obferv'd and proy'd^ that they had no Sea in 


Concerning the Prhn, Earth, and Paradife. 54^ 
the primitive and antediluvian Worlds which 
makes a vaft Difference 'twixt us and them : 
This takes up half of our Globe , and a 
good Part of Mankind is bulled with Sea- 
affairs and Navigation. They had little 
need of Merchandizing then. Nature iup- 
ply'd them at Home v/ith all Neceffaries , 
which were few, and they were not fo greedy 
of Superfluities as we are. We may add to 
thefe what concerned their Food and Diet , 
Antiquity doth generally fuppofe that Men 
were not carnivorous in thofe Ages of the 
World, or did not feed upon Flelh, but only 
up04i Frmt and Herbs. And this feems to be 
plainly confirm'd by Scripture , for after the 
Deluge God Almighty gives Noah and his Po- 
fterity a Licence to eat Flelh, {Gen. 9. 2, 3.) 
E'very vio'i:ing thing that Iheth Jloall be Meat for 
you. Whereas before, in the new-made Earth, 
God had prefcrib'd them Herbs and Fruit for 
their Diet, {Gen. i. 29.) Behold, Iha-vegroen 
you every Herb bearing Seed, which is upon the 
Face of all the Earth , and every Tree, in the 
which is the Fruit of a Tree yielding Seed, to you 
it Jhall be for Meat. And of this natural Diet 
they would be provided to their Hands, with- 
out further Preparation, as the Birds and the 
Beafts ar^. 

Upon thefe general Grounds we may infer 
and conclude, that the civil World then, as 
well as the natural, had a very different Face 
and Afped from what it hath now; for of 
thefe Heads, Food and Cloathing, Building 
and Traffick, with that Train of Arts, Trades 

Z 4 and 

344 ^^^^ Theory of the Earth. 
and Manufactures that attend them, the civil 
Order of Things is in a great Meafure confti- 
tuted and compounded : Thefe make the Bu- 
imefs of Life, the feveral Occupations of Meii^ 
fhe Noife and Hurry of the World j thefe fill 
our Cities, and our Fairs, and our Havens 
and Ports, yet all thefe fine Things are but 
the Effefcs of Indigency and Necefiitou(nefs, 
and were, for the moft part, needlels and un- 
known in that firfl State of Nature. The An- 
cients have told us the fime Things in Eifed: ; 
but telling us them v^nthout their Grounds, 
which they themfelves did not know, they 
lookt like poetical Stories, and pleafant Fic- 
tions, and with moft Men paft for no better. 
We have fhewn them in another Light, with 
their Reafons and Caufes, deduc'd from the 
State of the natural W^orld, which is the Bafis 
upon which they ftand ; and this doth not on- 
ly give them a juft and full Credibility, but 
aho lajs a Foundation for After-thoughts, and 
further Deduftions , when they meet with 
Minds difpos'd to purfue Speculations of this 

As for Laws, Government, natural Reli- 
gion, Military and Judicial Affairs, with all 
their Equipage, which make an higher Order 
of Things in the civil and moral W^orld, to 
calculate thiefe upon the Grounds given, would 
be more difficult, and more uncertain ; nei- 
ther do they at all belong to the prefent Theo- 
ry, But from what we . have already obferv'd, 
we may be able to m.ake a better Judgment of 
thpf? traditipnal Accounts which the Ancients 


Concmiirig the Vnin. Earthy and Paradife, 34 y 
have left us concerning theie Things, in the 
early Ages of the World, and the primitive 
State of Nature. No doubt in thefe, as in all 
other Particulars, there was a great Ea/inefs 
and Simplicity in Comparifon of what is now ; 
we are in a more pompous, forc'd, and artifi- 
cial Method, which partly the Change of Na- 
ture, and partly the Vices and Vanities of Men 
have introduc'd and eftabliflit. But thefe 
things, with many more, ought to be the Sub- 
jcd of a ThiloJGphick Hi/lory of the World, 
which we mention'd before. 

This isafhortand general Scheme of the pri- 
maeval World, compared with the modern ; yet 
thele Things did not equally run thro' all the 
Parts and Ages of it ; there was a Declenfion and 
Degeneracy^both natural and moral, by Degrees, 
and efpecially towards the latter End , but the 
principal Form of Nature remaining till the 
Deluge and the Diflblution of that Heavens 
and Earth, till then alfo this civil Frame of 
Things would (land in a great Meafure. And 
tho' fuch a State of Nature, and of Mankind, 
when 'tis propos'd crudely, and without its 
Grounds, appear fabulous or imaginary, yet 
'tis really in it felf a State, not only poflible, 
but more eafy and natural, than what the 
World is in at prefent. And if one of the old 
antediluvian Patriarchs fhould rile from the 
Dead, he would be more furpriz'd to fee our 
World in that Pofture it is^ than we can be by 
the Story and Delcription of his. As an In- 
dim hath more Reafon to wonder at the Eu- 
ropean Modes, than we have to wonder at 


34^ The Theory of the Earth. 

their plain Manner of Living. 'Tis we that 
have left the Track of Nature^that are wrought 
and fcrew'd up into Artifices^ that have dif- 
guis'd our felves ; and 'tis in our World that 
the Scenes are chang'd, and become more 
firange and fantaftical. 

1 will conclude this Difcourfe wi^h an ^afy 
Remark, and without any particular Applica- 
tion of it. 'Tis a firange Power that Cuftom 
hath upon weak and little Spirits , whofe 
Thoughts reach no further than their Senfes ; 
and what they have feen and been us'd to, 
they make the Standard and Meafure of Na- 
ture, of Reafon, and of all Decorum. Neither 
are there any Sort of Men more pofitive and 
tenacious of their petty Opinions^ than they 
are ; nor more cenforious, even to Bitternefs 
and Malice. And 'tis generally fo, that thofe 
that have the leaft Evidence for the Truth of 
their beloved Opinions, are moft peevifli and 
impatient in the Defence of them. This fort 
of Men are the laft that will be made wife 
Men, if ever they be j for they have the worft 
of Difeafes that accompany Ignorance, and do 
not fo much as know themfelves to be fick. 

Ccncerning the Prhn, Earthy and Paradife, 347 

Chap. VIL 

The Place of Paradife cannot be determind froju 
the Theory only^ nor from Scripture only. What 
the Senfe of Antiquity was concer?iing it^ both 
as to the Jews and Heathens^ and ejpecially as 
to the Chrijiian Fathers, That they generally 
flacd it out of this Continent^ in the foiithern 

WE have now prepar'd our Work for 
the ]aft finilliing Stroaks ; delcrib'd 
the firft Earth, and compared it with 
the prefent ; and not only the two Earths, but 
in a 2;ood Meafure the whole State and Oeco- 
noniy of thole two Worlds. It remains only 
to determine the Place of Paradife in that pri- 
maeval Earth j I fay, in ihat primaeval Earth j 
for we have driven the Point fo £ir already, 
that the Seat of it could not be in the prefent 
Earth, whofe Form, Site, and Air, are fo dif- 
pos'd, as could not coniill: with the firft and 
moft indifpenlible Properties of Paradife ; 
And accordingly, we fee with what ill Succefs 
our modern Authors have ran^'d over the 
Earth, to find a fit Spot ol Ground to plant Pa^ 
radife in,- fome would fet it on the Top of an 
high Mountain, that it might have good Air 
and fair Weather, as being above the Clouds, 
;ind the middle Region ,• but then they were 
at a Lofs for Water, which made a great Part 
of the Pleafure and Beauty of that Place. 
ptliers therefore would feat it in a Plain, or iq 


548 The Theory of the Earth: 
a River-Ifland, that they might have Water 
enough ; but then it would be fubjed to the 
Injuries of the Air, and foul Weather at the 
Seafons of the Year , from which, both Rea- 
fon and all Authority have exempted Paradife. 
'Tis like feeking a perfect Beauty in a mortal 
Bod3^ there are fo many Things required to it, 
as to Coinplexion, Features, Proportions and 
Air, that they never meet all together in one 
Perfon ; neither can all the Properties of a ter- 
reftrial Paradife ever meet together intone 
Place, tho' never fo well chofen, in this pre- 
fent Earth. 

But in the primseval Earth, which we have 
defcrib'd, 'tis eafy to find a Seat that had all 
thofe Beauties and Conveniencies. We have 
every where thro' the temperate Climates, a 
clear and conftant Air, a fruitful Soil, plea- 
fant Waters, and all the general Charaders of 
;P^r<^^//^ ; fo that the Trouble will be rather 
in that Competition, what Part or Region to 
pitch upon in particular. But to come as near 
it as we can, we muft remember in the;firft 
Place, how that Earth was divided into two 
Hemifpheres, diftant and feparated from one 
another, not by an imaginary Line, but by a 
feal Boundary that could not be part: j fo as the 
firft Inquiry will be, in whether of thefe He- 
mifpheres was the Seat of Paradife. To anuver 
this only according to our Theory, I confefs, I 
feieno natural Reafon or Occafion to place'it in 
one Hemifphere more than in another ,- I fee 
no Ground of Difference or Pre-eminencey that 
ene had above the other; and lam apt- to' 


Concerning the Pr'nn. Earthy andParadife. 54^ 
think, that depended rather upon the Wilt o£ 
God, and the Series of Providence that was 
to follow in this Earth, than upon any natural 
Incapacity in one of thefe two Regions more 
than in the other, for planting in it the Garden 
of God. Neither doth Scripture determine, 
with any Certainty, either Hemifphere for the 
Place of it ^ for when 'tis faid to be in Ede^/y 
or to be the Garden of Eden^ 'tis no more 
than the Garden of Pleafiire or Delight^ as 
the Word fignifies : And even the Septuaginty 
who render this Word Eden^ as a proper Name 
twice, {Gen, 2. ^ver. 8, (j 10.) do in the fame 
Story render it twice as a common Name, fig- 
nifying Tpv<pv), Pkafure^ {Chap. 2. 15. and Chap. 
3. 24.) and fo they do accordingly render it in 
Ezekiely {Chap, 31.9. 16,18.) where this Gar- 
den of Eden is fpoken of again. Some have 
thought that the Word Mekiddim^ {Gen, 2. 
8.} was to be rendered in the Eafiy or Eaft- 
zm>'d-, as we read it, and therefore determin'd 
the Site of Paradife ; but 'tis, only the Sep- 
tiiagint tranflate it fo ; all the other Greek 
Verfions, and St. Jerome'^ the Vulgate^ the 
Chaklee Paraphrafe, and the Syriack render it 
from the Beginjiing^ or in the Beginning,, or to- 
that Effed. And We that do not believe the 
Septtiagint to have been infallible, or infpir'd, 
liave no Reafon to prefer their fingle Autho- 
rity above all the reft. Some alfo think the 
Place of Paradife may be determin'd by the 
four Rivers that are named as belonging to it, 
and the Countries they ran thro' ; but the 
Names of thofe Rivers are to me uncertain, 


350 The Theory of the Earth. 
and two of them altogether unintelligible. 
Where are there four Rivers in our Continent 
that come from one Head, as thefe are dud to 
have done, either at the Entrance or Iflue of 
the Garden ? 'Tis true, if you admit our Hy- 
fothe/is^ concerning the Fraftion and Difrup- 
tion of the Earth at the Deluge, then we can^ 
not expeft to find Rivers now as they were be- 
fore ; the general Source is changed, and their 
Channels are all broke up ; but if you do not 
admit fuch a Diflblution of the Earth, but fup- 
pofe the Deluge to have been only like a 
ftanding Pool, after it had once cover'd the 
Surface of the Earth, I do not fee why it 
Ihould make any great Havock or Confufion in 
it ; and they that go that Way, are therefore 
the more oblig'd to ihow us ftill the Rivers of 
Paradife, Several of the Ancients, as we fliall 
Ihow hereafter, fuppos'd thefe four Rivers to 
have their Heads in the other Hemifphere ^ 
and if fo, the Seat of Faradife might be there 
too. But let them firft agree among them- 
felves concerning thefe Rivers, and the Coun- 
tries they ran thro', and we will undertake to 
fliow that there cannot be any fuch in this 

Seeing then neither the Theory doth deter- 
mine, nor Scripture, v^here the Place of Pa^ 
radife was, nor in whether Hemifphere, we 
muft appeal to Antiquity, or the Opinions of 
the Ancients ; for I know no other Guide but 
one of thefe three, Scripture, Reafon, and an- 
cient Tradition j and v>'here the two former 
are filent, it feems very reafonable to confult 


Concerning the Prim. Earthy and Paradife, 351' 
the third. And that our Inquiries may be com- 
prehenfive enough, we will confider what the 
Jewsj what the Heathens^ and what the Chri- 
ftian Fathers have faid or determin'd concern- 
ing the Seat of Paradife. The Jews and He- 
brew Dodors place it in neither Hemiiphere, 
but betwixt both, under the ^quinodlial, as 
you may fee plainly in Abrauanel^ Manaffefy 
Ben-Ifraely Maimonides^ Aben Ezra^ and o- 
thers. But the Reafon why they carried it no 
further than the Line, is becaufe they fuppo^'d 
it certain, as Eben Ezra tells us, that the Days 
and Nights w^-e always equal in Paradife^ 
and they did not know how that could be, 
unlefs it flood under the ^quinodial. But 
we have jfhown another Method, wherein that 
perpetual Equinox came to pafs, and how it 
was common to all the Parts and Climates of 
that Earth, which if they had been aware of, 
and that the Torrid Zone at that time was ut- 
terly uninhabitable, having remov'd their Pa- 
radife thus £ir from Home, they would pro- 
bably have remov'd it a little further into the 
temperate Climates of the other Hemifphere. 

The ancient Heathens, Poets and Philofo- 
phers, had the Notion of Paradife^ or rather 
of feveral Paradifes in the Earth y and 'tis re- 
markable, that they plac'd them generally, if 
not all of them, out of this Continent ; in 
the Ocean, or beyond it, or in another Orb or 
Hemifphere. The Garden of the Hefperides^ 
the fortunate IJlands^ the Eljfian Fields^ Ogy- 
gia and Toprabane^ as it is defcrib'd by Diodo- 
rifs Siculus^ with others fuch like -, which as 


3 52 The Theory of the Earth. 
they were all charafteriz'd like fo many Tata- 
difesy fothey were all feated out of our Con- 
tinent by their Geography and Defcriptions of 

Thus far Antiquity feems to incline to the 
other Hemifphere, or to fome Place beyond 
the Bounds of our Continent for the Seat of 
Faradije : But that which we are moft to de- 
pend upon in this Affair, is Chrillian Antiqui- 
ty, the Judgment and Tradition of the Fa- 
thers upon this Argument. And we may fafe- 
ly fay in the firft Place, negatively, that none 
of the Chriftian Fathers, Lafin or Greeks ever 
plac'd Faradife in Mefopotanna ^ that is a Con- 
ceit and Invention of fome modern Authors, 
which hath been much encouraged of late, 
becaufe it gave Men Eafe and Reft as to fur- 
ther Inquiries, in an Argument they could not 
well manage. Secondly, We may affirm, 
that none of the Chriftian Fathers have plac'd 
Faradife in any determinate Region of our 
Continent, Jfia^ Africk^ or Europe. I have 
read of one or two Authors, I think, that fan- 
cied Faradife to have been at Jerufalem j but 
'twas a mere Fancy, that no body regarded or 
purfu'd. The Controverfy amongft the Fa- 
thers concerning Faradife was quite another 
Thing from what it is now of late : They 
difputed and controverted, whether Faradife 
was corporeal or intelleftual only, and allego- 
rical ; this was the grand Point amongft them. 
Then of thofe that thought it corporeal, fome 
plac'd it high in the Air, fome inacceffible, by 
Defarts or Mountains, and many beyond the 
4. Ocean, 

Concerning the Pwn. Earthy and Paradife. 3 5 5 
Ocean, or in another Worlds and in thefe 
chiefly confifted the Differences and Diverfity 
of Opinions amongft them ; nor do we find 
that they nam'd any particular Place or Coun- 
try in the known Parts of the Earth for the 
Seat of Paradife^ or that one contefted for 
one Spot of Ground, and another for another, 
which is the vain Temerity of modern Au- 
thors y as if they could tell to an Acre of Land 
where Paradife flood, or could fet their Foot 
upon the Centre of the Garden. Thefe have 
corrupted and mifreprefented the Notion of 
our Paradife^ jufl as fome modern Poets have 
the Notion of the Elyfian Fields^ which Ho?ner 
and the Ancients plac'd remote on the Extre- 
mities of the Earth, and thefe would make a 
little green Meadow in Camfania Felix to be 
the fam'd Elyfium. 

Thus much concerning the Fathers^- nega- 
tively y but to difcover as far as we can, what 
their po/itive Affertions were in this Argu- 
ment, we may obferve, that tho' their Opi- 
nions be differently exprefl, they generally 
concenter in this, that the Southern Hejnifphere. 
was the Seat of Paradife. This, 1 fay, feems 
manifeftly to be the Senfe of Chriftian Anti- 
quity and Tradition, fo far as there is any 
Thing definitive in the Remains we have up- 
on that Subjed. Some of the Fathers did not 
believe Paradife to be corporeal and local, and 
thofe are to be laid afide in the firft Place, as 
to this Point -, others that thought it locals did 
not determine any Thing (as mofl: of them in- 
deed did not) concerning the particular Place 
of it ) but the reft that did, tho' they have ex- 

BooK IL A a preft 

3 54 '^^^ Theory of the Earth. 
prefl: thcmfelves in various Ways^ and under 
various Forms,- yet, upon a due Interpreta- 
tion, they all meet in one common and gene- 
ral Conclufion, that Paradife was feated be- 
yond the iEquinoftial, or in the other Hemi- 

And to underftand this arightjWe muft reflecft, 
in the firft Place, upon the Form of the primeval 
Earth, and of the two Hemifpheres of which it 
confifted, altogether incommunicable one with 
another, by reafon of the Torrid Zone betwixt 
them ; fo as thofe two Hemifpheres were then 
as twodiftind Worlds, or diftind Earths, that 
had no Commerce with one another. And this 
Notion or Tradition we find among Heathen 
Authors, as well as Chriftian ; this oppofite 
Earth being call'd by them Antkhthon^ and its 
Inhabitants A7itichthones : For thofe Words 
comprehend both the Antipdes and Antceci^ or 
all beyond the Line, as is manifeft from their 
beft Authors, as Achilles Tatius^ and C^[ar Gcr- 
vtanicm upon Aratus^ Prohm Grammaticm^Cenfo- 
Yiniis^ Poinponim M^/^.and Pliny. And thefe were 
call'd another World, and lookt upon as ano- 
ther Stock and Race of Mankind, as appears 
from Cicero and Macrobitis^ {Sojnn. Scip.) But 
as the latter Part was their Miftake, fo the 
former is acknowledg'd by Chriftian Authors, 
as well as others ; and paiticularly St. Clement^ 
•in his Epiftle to the Corinthians^ mentions a 
Worlds or Worlds beyond the Oceans fuljeCf to 
din:ine Pro'videme^ and the great 'Lord of Na- 
ture^ as well as ours. This Paflage of St. Cle- 
ment is alfo cited by St. Jero??2e^ in his Com- 
mentary upon £;^/j^y^ 2. 2. and by QrigenPeri- 

I archon. 

Concerning the Trim. Earth, and Paradife. 355 
archon, (Lib. 2. c, 3.) where the Inhabitants of 
that other World are call'd Antichthones, 

I make this Remark in the firft Place, that 
we may underftand the true Senfe and Impor- 
tance of thofe Phrafes and Exprellions amongft 
the Ancients, when they fay Paradife was in 
another IVorld. Which are not to be fo under- 
ftood, as if they thought Paradife was in the 
Moon, or in Jupiter, or hung above like a 
Cloud or a Meteor, they were not fo extrava- 
gant ; but that Paradife was in another He- 
mifphere, which was calfd Antichthon, ano- 
ther Earih, or another World from ours j and 
juftly reputed fo, becaufe of an Impolfibility of 
Commerce or Intercourfe betwixt their re- 
fpedive Inhabitants. And this Remark being 
premis'd, we will now diflribute- the Chri- 
ftian Authors and Fathers, that have delivered 
their Opinion concerning the Place of Para- 
dife, into three or four Ranks or Orders y and 
tho' they exprefs themfelves differently, you 
will fee, when duly examin'd and expounded, 
they all confpire and concur in the foremen- 
tion'd Concluiion, That the Seat of Paradife 
was in the other Hemifphere. 

In the firft Rank then we will place and 
reckon thofe that have fet Paradife in another 
iVorld, or in another Earth ^ feeing, according 
to the foregoing Explication, that is the fame 
thing as to affirm it feated beyond the Torrid 
Zone in the other Hemifphere. In this Num- 
ber are Ephrem S)rus, Mofes Bar Cepha, Tati- 
anus, and of later Date Jacobus de Valen- 
lia. To thefe are to be added again fuch Au- 
thors as fay, that Adam, when he was turnd 

A a 2 out 

"55^ The Theory of the Earth.' 
out of Paradife^ was brought into our Earthy 
or into our Region of the Earth ; for this is 
tantamount with the former ; and this feems 
to be the Senfe of St. Jerome in feveral Places 
againft Jo^vinian^ as alfo of Co7ifta7iUne^ in his 
Oratmi in Eufehiiis^ and is pofitively aflerted by 
Sulptius Se'venis. And laltly, Thofe Authors 
that reprefent Paradife as remote from our 
World, and inacceffible^ fo St. Atiftin^ Pro- 
copus Gaz^uSj Beda^ Strabus Ftddenfis^ Hijio- 
ria Scholiaftka^ and others , thefe, I fay, purfue 
the fume Notion of Antiquity , for what is 
remote from our World, (that is, from our 
Continent, as we before explain'd it) is to be 
underftood to be that Aritichthon^ ( 0;>i8jui£vv) ) 
or Anti-hemifphere, which the Ancients op- 
posed to ours. 

Another Set of Authors, that interpret the 
Flaming Sword that guarded Paradife to be the 
Torrid Zone^ do plainly intimate, that Para- 
dife in their Opinion lay beyond the Torrid 
Zone, or in the Anti-hemifphere ^ and thus 
Termllian interprets the Flaming Sword, and 
in fuch Words as fully confirm our Senfe : Pa- 
radife^ he fays, by the Torrid Zone^ as by a Wall 
of Fir e^ was jrcerdfrom the Comintmication and 
Kiiowledge of our World, It lay then on the 
other Side of this Zone. And St. Cyprian^ or 
the ancient Author that pafTeth under his 
Name, in his Comment upon Genefis^ ex- 
preffeth himfelf to the fame eflfed: ; fo alfo 
St. Auftin and Ifidore Hiffalerifu are thought to 
interpret it : And Aquims^ who makes Para- 
\clife inacceffible, gives this Reafon for it. Prop- 
ter .^vehementiajn (eflns in locis inter me diis ex 


Concerning the Trim. Earthy and Paradife. 357 
p'opinqiiitate Sdify (j hoc fignificatiir per Flam- 
viemn Gladium : Becaufe of that 'vehement Heat 
in the Parts betwixt us and that^ drifi^g fro?n 
the Nearnefs of the Stin^ and this is fignified by 
the Flaming Sword, And this Interpretation 
of the Flaming Sword rec:eives a remarkable 
Force and Emphafii from our Theory and De- 
fcription of the primirval Earth, for there the 
Torrid Zone was as a Wall of Fire indeed, or 
a Region of Flame, which none could pafs or 
fubfift in, no more than in a Furnace. 

There is another Form of Expreffion a- 
mongft the Ancients concerning Paradife , 
which, if decyphered, is of the fame Force 
and Signification with this we have alrea- 
dy inftanc'd in : They fay fometimes Para- 
dife was beyond the Ocean^ or that the Rivers of 
Paradife came from beyond the Ocean. This 
is of the fame Import with the former Head, 
and points ftill at the other Hemifphere ^ for, 
as we noted before, fome of them fixt their 
Antichthon and Antichthones beyond the Ocean ; 
that is, fince there was an Ocean -, fince the 
Form of the Earth was chang'd, and the Tor- 
rid Zone became habitable, and confequently 
could not be a Boundary or Separation be- 
twixt the two Worlds. Wherefore, as fome 
run ftill upon the old Divifion by the Torrid 
Zone, others took the new Divifion by the 
Ocean. Which Ocean they fuppos'd to lie 
from Eaft to Weft betwixt the Tropicks ; as 
may be feen in ancient Authors, Gcjninns^ Fie- 
Yodotusy Cicero de republican and Clemens Koma- 
nus^ whom we cited before. St. Anfiin {De 
Civ, Dei^ lib. 16. c. 9.) alfo fpeaks upon the 
A^ 3 ume 

358 The Theory of the Earth. 
fume Suppofition, when he would confute the 
Dodtrineof the Antipodes^or Antichtho?ief ; and 
Macrobius^ I remember, makes it an Argu- 
ment of Providence, that the Sun and the Pia- 
nets, in what Part of their Courfe foever they' 
are betwixt the two' Tropicks, have {lili the 
Ocean under them, that they may be cool'd 
and nourifti'd by its Moifture. They thought 
the Sea, like a Girdle, went round the Earth, 
and the temperate Zones on either Side were 
the habitable Regions, whereof this was cal- 
led the Oicotmen?^ and the other Jjitichtho??, 

This being obferv'd, 'tis not material whe- 
ther their Notion was true or falfe, it fliews 
us what their Meaning was, and what Part of 
the Earth they defign'd, when they fpoke of 
any Thing beyond the Ocean ; namely, that 
they meant beyond the Line, in the other He- 
mifphere, or in the Afitichthon ; and accord- 
ingly, when they fay Paradife^ or the Foun- 
tains of its Rivers were beyond the Ocean, 
they fay the fame Thing in otiier Terms with 
the reft of thofe Authors we have cited. In 
Mofes Bar Cepha above-mention'd, we find a 
Chapter upon this Subjed, ^winodo trajecermt 
Mcrtales hide ex Faradifi terra in hanc terrain. 
How Mankind paft out of that Earth or Conti^ 
nentj where Paradife zvas^ into that where we 
are. Namely, how they paft the Ocean, that 
lay betwixt them^ zs the Anfwer there given 
explains it. And fo Ephrem Synis is cited of- 
ten in that Treatife, placing Paradife beyond 
the Ocean, The Effenes alfo, Vv^ho were the 
moft Philofophick Sed of the Jews^ plac'd 
Taradife^ according to Jofepbus^ beyond the 


Concern'mg the Vriin, Earthy and Paradife. 359 
Ocean , under a perfeft Temperature of 
Air. And that Paffage in Etifebius ^ in the 
Oration of Conflantine^ being correded and re- 
ftor'd to the true reading, reprefents Paradifcy 
in like manner, as in another Continent, from 
whence Adam was brought, after his Tranf- 
greffion, into this. And laftly, there are fome 
Authors, whofe Teftimony and Authority 
may deferve to be confider'd, not for their 
own Antiquity, but becaufe they are profef- 
fedly Tranfcribers of Antiquity and Tradi- 
tions j fuch as Strahusj Comeftcy\ and the like, 
who are known to give this Account or Re- 
port of Paradife from the Ancients, that it 
was interpofito Oceano ab Orbe noftro 'vel a Zo- 
na nojira kabitahili fecretus , feparated fro?n our 
Grb cr Heraifphere by the Interpofition of the 

It is aifo obfervable, that many of the An- 
cients that took Tigris J Euphrates ^ Nile and 
Ganges^ for the Rivers of Paradife^ faid that 
thofe Heads or Fountains of them, which we 
have in our Continent, are but their Capita fe- 
cunda^ their fecond Sources, and that their 
firft Sources were in another Orb where Para- 
dife was ; and thus Hugo de Sanffo Vidore fays, 
San^fos covnnmnterfenfiffe^ That the Holy Men 
of old were generally of that Opinion. To 
this Senfe alfo yiofes Bar Cepba often expref- 
feth himfelf j as alfo Epiphanius^ Procopius Ga^ 
z^usy and Severia?ius in Catena. Which No- 
tion amongft the Ancients , concerning the 
TrajeCtion or Paffage of the paradifiacai Rivers 
under Ground, or under Sea, from one Conti- 

A a 4 nent 

3 6o The Theory of the Earth. 
iient into another^ is to me, I confefs, unintel- 
ligible, either in the firft or fecond Earth ; but 
however it difcovers their Senfe and Opinion 
of the Seat of Paradife^ that it was not to be 
fought for in Jfm or in Afric% where thofe Ri- 
vers rife to US; but in fome remoter Parts of 
the World, where they fuppos'd their firft 
Sources to be. 

This is a fhort Account of what the Chri- 
ftian Fathers have left us concerning the Seat 
of Paradife j and the Truth is, 'tis but a flioit 
and broken Account ,- yet 'tis no wonder it 
fhould be fo, if we confider, as we noted be- 
fore, that feveral of them did not believe Pa- 
radife to be local and corporeal 5 others that 
did believe it fo^ yet did not offer to determine 
the Place of it, but left that Matter wholly 
untouch'd and undecided ^ and the reft that 
did fpeak to that Point, did it commonly both 
in general Terms, and in Expreffions that were 
dilguis'd, and needed Interpretation -, but all 
thefe Differences and Obfcurities of Expreffion, 
you fee, when duly flated and expounded, 
may fignify one and the fame Thing, and ter- 
minate all in this common Conclufion, That 
Paradife was without our Continent, accord- 
ing to the general Opinion and Tradition of 
^ Antiquity. And I do not doubt but the Tra- 
dition would have been both more exprefs and 
more univerfal, if the Ancients had under- 
ftood Geography better ; for thofe of the An- 
cients that did not admit or believe that there 
were Antipodes or Antichthories^ as La^fantiuSy 
St, Auflm^ and fome others -, thefe could not 

• join 

Concerning the Trim. Earthy andVaradife, 35r 
join in the common Opinion about the Place 
of Paradifij becaufe they thought there was 
no Land, nor any Thing habitable ^'iu t'<? oto- 
fjtevv^c, or belide this Continent. And yet St. Au- 
fiin was fo cautious, that as he was bounded 
on the one Hand by his falie Idea of the Earth, 
that he could not join with Antiquity as to 
the Place of Paradife ; Co on the other Hand 
he had that Refpe(51;for it, that he would not 
fay any thing to the contrary , therefore being 
to give his Opinion, he fays only, Terreftrem 
ejje Paradifumj (j' locum ejus ah hominum cog- 
nitione effe remotijfwium : That it is fcmewhere 
upon the Earthy but the Place of it very remote 
jrom the Knowledge of Men. 

And as their Ignorance of the Globe of the 
Earth was one Reafon why the Dodrine of 
Paradife was fo broken and obfcure , fo 
another Reafon why it is much more fo 
at prefent is, becaufe the chief ancient Books 
writ upon that Subjed are loft. Ephrem Syrus^ 
who liv'd in the fourth Century, writ a Com- 
mentary ift Gencfin five de Ortu rcrum^ concern- 
ing the Origin of the Earth ,• and by thofe Re- 
mains that are cited from it, we have reafon 
to believe that it contain'd many Things re- 
markable concerning the firft Earth, and con- 
cerning Paradife. Tertullian alfo writ a Book 
de Paradifoj which is wholly loft ,• and we fee 
to what Effed: it would have been, by his 
making the Torrid Zone to be the Tlaming 
Sword,, and the Partition betwixt this Earth 
and Paradije ^ which two Earths he more 
than once diftinguiflieth as very different from 

I one 

352 The Theory of the E a r t h. 

one another, (Cont.Marc. lib. 2. c. 2. c. 5.) The 
©loft ancient Author that I know upon this 
Subjeft, at leaft of thofe that writ of it lite- 
rally, is Mofes Bar Cepha^ a Syrian Bifliop, 
who liv'd about feven hundred Years fince, 
^nd his Book is tranflated into Latin by that 
learned and judicious Man Andreas mafius. 
Bar Qpha writes upon the fame Views of Pa- 
radife that we have here prefented, that it was 
beyond the Ocean, in another Track of Land, or 
another Continent from that which we inha- 
bit : As appears from the very Titles of his 
eighth, tenth, and fourteenth Chapters. But 
we muft allow him for his miftaken Notions 
about the Form of the Earth , for he feems to 
have fancied the Earth plain, (not only as op- 
pos'd to rough and mountainous, for fo it wa$ 
plain ; but as oppos'd to fpherical) and the O- 
cean to have divided it in tv\^o Parts, an inte- 
rior, and an exterior, and in that exterior Part 
was Baradife, Such Allowances muft often 
be made for geographical Miftakes, in exa- 
mining and underftanding the Writings of the 
Ancients. The reft of the Syrian Fathers, as 
well as Ephrem ^nd BarCepha^ incline to the 
fame Dodrine of Faradife^ and feem to have 
retain d more of the ancient Notions concern- 
ing it, than the Gnek and Latin Fathers have ; 
and yet there is in all fome Fragments of this 
Doftrine, and but Fragments in the beft. 

We might add in the laft Place, that as the 
moft ancient Treat ifes concerning Faradife are 
loft, fo alfo the ancient Glops and Catena up- 
on Scripture, w^here we might have found the 


Concerning the Trim. Earthy and Varadife, 363 
Traditions and Opinions of the Ancients upon 
this Subjed, are many of them either loft or 
unpublifli'd ', and upon this Confideration we 
did not think it improper to cite fome Autliors 
of fmall Antiquity, but fuch as have tranfcrib'd 
feveral Things out of ancient Manufcript-glof- 
fes into their Commentaries. They living how- 
ever before Printing was invented, or Learn- 
ing well reftor'd, and before tire Reformation. 
I add that alio, before the Reformation^ for /ince 
that Time .the Proteftant Authors having lef- 
fen'd the Authority of Traditions, the ponti- 
ficial Dodors content themfelves to infifl: only 
upon fuch as they thought were ufeful or necef- 
fary, left by multiplying others that were but 
Matter of Curiofity, they fliould bring the 
firft into Qiieftion, and render the whole Doc- 
trine of Traditions more dubious and excep- 
tionable j and upon this Account, tljere are 
fome Authors that writ an Age or two before 
the Reformation, that have with more Free- 
dom told us the Tenets and Traditions of the 
Ancients in thefe Speculations, that are but col- 
lateral to Religion, than any have done fince. 
And I miuft confefs, I am apt to think that 
what remains concerning the Dodrine of Ta- 
radife^ and the primc^val Earth, is in a good 
Meafure traditional ^ for one may obferve, 
that thofe that treat upon thefe Subjeds quote 
the true Opinions, and tell you fome of the 
Ancients held fo and fo , as that Faradife was 
in another Earth, or higher tlian this Earth ; 
that there were no Mountains before the Flood, 
nor any Rain, and fuch like j yet they do not 


*364 The Theory of the E a r t h: 
Hvime thofe ancient Authors that held thefe 
Opinions ; which makes me apt to believe, ei- 
ther that they were convey'd by a traditional 
Communication from one to another, or that 
there were other Books extant upon thofe Sub- 
jefts, or other Glolfes, than what are now 

Finally, To conclude this Difcourfe concern- 
ing the Seat of Paradife^ we muft mind you 
again upon what Bafis it ftands. We declar'd 
freely, that we could not by our Theory alone 
determine the particular Place of it, only by 
that we are aifur'd that it was in the primeval 
Eaith, and not in the prefent ,• but in what Re- 
gion, or in whether Hem ifphere of that Earth 
it was feated, we cannot define from Specula- 
tion only. 'Tis true, if we hold faft to that 
Scripture-conclufion, That all Mankind rofe 
from one Head, and from one and the fame 
Stock and Lineage, (which doth not feem to 
be according to the Sentiments of the Hea- 
thens) we muft fuppofe they were born in one 
Hemifphere, and after fome Time tranflated 
into the other, or a Colony of them : But this 
ftill doth not determine in whether of the two 
they begun, and were firft feated before their 
Tranflation ; and I am apt to think that de- 
pended rather, as we noted before, upon the 
divine Pleafure, and the Train of Affairs that 
was to fucceed, than upon natural Caufes and 
Differences. Some of the Ancients, I know^ 
made both the Soil and the Stars more noble 
in the fouthern Hemifphere, than in ours ; but 
I do not fee any Proof or Warrant for it ; 

.where fore^ 

Concerning the Frinh Earthy aridParadife. ^6$ 
wherefore, laying afide all natural Topicks, we 
are willing, in this Particular, to refer our 
felves wholly to the Report and Majority of 
Votes among the Ancients ,• who yet do not 
feem to me to lay much Strefs upon the No- 
tion of a particular and topical Paradife, and 
therefore ufe general and remote Exprcflions 
concerning it. And finding no Place for it in 
this Continent, they are willing to quit their 
Hands of it, by placing it in a Region fome- 
where far off, and inaccefTible. This, together 
with the old Tradition, that Paradife was in 
another Earth, feems to me to give an Account 
of mod of their Opinions concerning the Seat 
of Paradife, and that they were generally very 
uncertain where to fix it. 

Chap. VIIL 

The Ufes of this Theory for the Illujlration of 
Antiquity y The a?icient Chaos explai?id; The 
Inhabit ability of the To? rid Zone ; The Change 
of the Poles of the IVorld ; The Do^hine of 
the Mundane Egg ; Hozv America was firjl 
peopled; Hozv Paradife within the Circle cf 
the Moon. 

WE have now difpatch'd the Theory of 
the prima:val Earth, and reviv'd a 
forgotten World. 'Tis pity the firft 
and faireft Works of Nature fliould be loft put 
of the Memory of Man, and that we Ihould 
fo much dote upon the Ruines, as never to 
think upon the original Stru<fture. As the mo- 

'^66 The Theory of the Earth. 
dern Artifts, from fome broken Pieces of an 
ancient Statue, make out all the other Parts 
and Proportions , fo from the broken and fcat- 
ter'd Lmibs of the firft World we have fliown 
you how to raife the whole Fabrick again -, and 
renew the Profpeft of thofe pleafant Scenes 
that firft f,iw the Light, and Hrft entertain'd 
Man, when he came to a(it upon this new- 
ereded Sta^e. 

We have drawn this Theory chiefly to give 
an Account of the univerfal Deluge, and of 
Paradife ; but as vvlien one lights a Candle to 
look for one or two Things which they want, 
the Light will not confine it felf to tiiofe two 
Objeds, but ftiows all the other in the room ; 
fo, methinks, we have unexpeftedly caft a 
Light upon all Antiquity , in feeking after 
thefe two Things, or in retrieving the Notion 
and Dodrine of the prim.^val Earth, upon 
which they depended. For in ancient Learn- 
ing there are many Difcourles, and many Con- 
clufions delivered to us, that are fo obfcure and 
confus'd, and fo remote from the prefent State 
of Things, that one cannot well diftinguilh 
whether they are Fidions or Realities : And 
there is no Way to diftinguiih with Certainty, 
but by a clear Theory upon the fmie Subjeds ; 
which fliowing us the Truth diredly and in- 
dependently upon them, fhows us alfo by Re- 
fledion, how far they are true or falfe, and in 
what Senfe they are to be interpreted and un- 
derftood. And the prefent Theory being of 
great extent^ we fhall find it ferviceable in 


Concerning the Vrim. Earthy and Paradife. ^6j 
many Things, for the lUuftration of fuch du- 
bious and obfcure DoiSrines in Antiquity. 

To begin with their ancient CHAOS; 
what a dark Story have they made of it, both 
their Philofophers and Poets ; and how fabih- 
lous in Appeanince ? 'Tis deliver'd as confufed- 
]y as the Mafs it felf could be, and hath not 
been reduc'd to Order, nor indeed made intel- 
ligible by any. They tell us of moral Princi- 
ples in the Chaos inftead of natural^ of Strife^ 
and Difcord^ and Dhifion on the one hand, and 
Lo've^ Friendjfjipj and Venus on the other ; 
and, after a long Conteft, Love got the bet- 
ter of Difcord , and united the difagreeing 
Principles : This is one Part of their Story. 
Then they make the Forming of the World 
out of the Chaos a kind of Genealogy or Pedi- 
gree ; Chaos was the common Parent of all, 
and from Chaos fprung iirft Mght, and Tarta- 
rus^ or Oceanm , Night was a teeming Mo- 
ther, and of her were born j^ther and the 
lEarth j The Earth conceived by the Influences 
of ^ther, and brought forth Man and all A- 

This feems to be a poetical Fidion rather 
than Philofophy j yet when 'tis fet in a true 
Light, and compared with our Theory of the 
Chaos, 'twill appear a pretty regular Account, 
how the World was form'd at firft, or how the 
Chaos divided it felf fucceffively into feveril 
Regions, rifing one after another, and propa- 
gated one from another, as Children and Po- 
fterity from a common Parent. We fhow'd 
in the firft Book, Chaf. j. how the Chaos, 


368 The Theory of the Earth. 
from an uniform Mafs, wrought it felf into 
feveral Regions or Elements ,• the grofleil: Part 
finking to the Center -, upon this lay the Mafs 
of Water, and over the Water was a Region 
of dark, impure, caliginous Air j this impure 
caliginous Air is that which the Ancients call 
JSlight:, and the Mafs of Water Oceaniis or TaY- 
tarU'S j for thoie two Terms with them are of- 
ten of the like Force, Tartarus being Ocea?2m 
inclos'd and lock'd up : Thus we have the firft 
Offlpring of the Chaos, or its firft-born Twins, 
Nox and Oceanus. Now this turbid Air puri- 
fying it felf by Degrees, as the more fubtle 
Parts flew upwards, and compos'd the ^ther ; 
fo the earthy Parts that were mixt with it 
dropt down upon the Surface of the Water, or 
the liquid Mafs ; and that Mafs on the other 
Hand fending up its lighter and more oily Parts 
towards its Surface , thefe two incorporate 
there, and by their Mixture and Union com- 
pofe a Body of Earth quite round the Mafs of 
Waters : And this was the firfl habitable Earth, 
which, as it was, you fee, the Daughter of 
Nox and Oceanus^ fo it was the Mother of all 
other Things, and all living Creatures, which 
at the Beginning of the World fprung out of 
its fruitful Womb. 

This Dodrine of the Chaos, for the grea- 
ter Pomp of the Bufinefs, the Ancients calfd 
their Theogoniw^ or the Genealogy of the 
Gods j for they gave their Gods, at leaft their 
terreftrial Gods, an Original and Beginning , 
and all the Elements and greater Portions of 
Nature they made Gods and Goddefles, or 

Concerning the Fr'wu Earthy andParadij'e. ^69 
their Deities prefided over them in fuch a 
Manner, that the Names were us'd promifcu- 
oufly for one another. We alfo mention'd be- 
fore fome moral Principles, which they plac'd 
in the Chaos, Eris and Eros ; Strife, Difcord, 
and Difaffedion, which prevailed at firfl: ; and 
afterward Love^ Kindnefs and Union got the 
upper Hand, and in fpite of thofe fadious and 
dividing Principles gather'd together the fepa- 
rated Elements, and united them into an habi- 
table World. This is all eafily underftood, if 
we do but look upon the Schemes of the rifing 
World, as we have fet them down in that fifth 
Chapter j for in the firft Commotion of the 
Chaos, after an inteftine Struggle of all the 
Parts, the Elements feparated from one ano- 
ther into fo many diftinft Bodies or Maffes ; 
and in this State and Pofture Things continued 
a good while, which the Ancients, after their 
poetick or moral Way , cali'd the Reign of 
Eris or Contention, of Hatred, Slight and Dif- 
affedion ; and if Things had always continued 
in that Syftem, we ihould never have had an 
habitable World. But Love and good Na- 
ture conquered at length ; Venm role out of 
the Sea, and receiv'd into her Bofom, and ia- 
tangled into her Embraces the falling ^ther^ 
'viz. the Parts of lighter Earth, which were 
mixt with the Air in that firft Separation, and 
gave it the Name of Night : Thefe, I fay, fell 
down upon the oily Parts of the Sea-mafs, 
which lay floating upon the Surface of it, and 
by that Union and Conjundion a new Body, 
and a new World was produced, which was 
BOOK IL B b the 

370 The Theory- of the Earth. 
the firft habitable Earth. This is the Interpre- 
tation of their myftical Philofophy of the Cha- 
os, and the Refolution of it into plain natural 
Hiilory : Which you may fee more fully dif- 
CLtfsM in the Latin Treat ife^ Lib. 2. c. 7. 

In conlequence of this, we have already ex- 
plained, in feveral Places, the Golden /,ge of 
the Ancients, and laid down fuch Grounds as 
will enable us to difcern what is real, and 
what poetical, in the Reports and Charadlers 
that Antiquity hath given of thofe firfc Ages of 
the World. And if there be any Thing a- 
mongft the Ancients that refers to another 
Earth, ?,sPlatoh Atlantic ^ which he Hiys, was 
abforpt by an Earthquake, and an Inundation, 
as the primaeval Earth was j or his Aithereal 
Earth niention'd in hisPh^do^ which he oppo- 
feth to this broken hollow Earth ,, makes it to 
have long-livVi Inhabitants, and to be without 
Rains and Storms, as that firft Earth was alfo ; 
or- the pendulous G^?y/^;2x oi'.Alcimns^ or fuch 
like j to which nothing anfwefs in prefent Na- 
ture, by reflecting upon the State of the firft 
Earth, vs^e find an eafy Explication of them. 
We have alfo explain'd what the /iritkhthcn 
and AntichihoJies of the Ancients were, and 
what the true Ground of that Diftindion was. 
But nothing feenis more remarkable than the 
Inhabhabilk'j of the Tdrrid Zone^ if we confider 
what a general Fame and Belief it had amon.^ft 
the Ancients, and yet in the prefent Form of 
. the Earth we -find no fuch Thing, .nor any 
- Foundation for it;' ' I cannot believe that this 
was fo univerfally receiv'd upon a flight Pre- 
• ^ ■-• '*' fumption 

Concerning the Priin. Earthy and Faradife, 37 1 
fumption only, becaufe it lay under the Coiirfe 
of the Sun, if the Sun had then the fame La- 
titude from the Equator, in his Courfe and 
Motion, that he hath now, and made the fame 
Variety of Seafons ,• whereby even the hotteit 
Parts of the Earth have a Winter, or fomie- 
thing equivalent to it. But if we apply this 
to the primaeval Earth, whofe Pofture was di- 
red: to the Sun, ftanding always fixt in its E- 
quinodial,. we fhall ealily believe that the 
Torrid Zone was then uninhabitable by Extre- 
mity of Heat, thei-e being no Difference of 
Seafons, nor any Change of Weather, the Sun 
hanging always over Head at the fame Di- 
ftance, and in the fame Diredion. Befides this, 
the Defcent of the Rivers in that firft Earth 
was fuch, that they could never reach the E- 
quinodial Parts, as we have fliown before , 
by which Means, and the want of Rain, that 
Region muft neceffarily be turn'd into a dry 
Defirt. Now this being really the State of 
the firft Earth, the Fame and general Belief 
that the Torrid Zone was uninhabitable had 
this true Original, and continued ftill with Po- 
fterity after the Deluge, tho' the Caufes then 
were taken away j for they being ignorant of 
the Change that was made in Nature at that 
Time, kept up ftill the fame Tradition and 
Opinion current, till Obfervation and Expe- 
rience taught later Ages to corred it. As the 
true IVliracles,that were in the Chriftian Church 
at firft, occahon'd a Fame and Belief of their 
Continuance long after they had really ce'as'd* 

B b 2 This 

372 The Theory of the Earth. 

This gives an eafy Account, and, I think, 
the true Caufe of that Opinion, amongft the 
Ancients generally receiv'd. That the Tcrrid 
Zone voa6 un'mhabitahle, I fay, generally re- 
ceived j for not only the Poets, both Greek and 
Latin^ but their Philofophers, Aftronomers 
and Geographers, had the iame Notion, and 
deliver'd the fame Dodrine j as Ariftotle^ Geo- 
viedes^ Achilles Tatius^ Vtoloiny^ Cicero^ Straboj 
Mela^ Flmy^ Macrobius^ (^c. And to fpeak 
Truth, the whole Doftrine of the Zones is 
calculated more properly for the firft Earth, 
than for the preient , for the Divifions and 
Bounds of them now are but arbitrary, being 
habitable all over, and having no vifible Di- 
ftindion , whereas they were then determined 
by Nature, and the Globe of the Earth was 
really divided into fo many Regions of a very 
different Afped and Qiiality j which would 
have appeared at a Diftance, if they had been 
teokt upon from the Clouds, or from the 
Moon, as Jupiter s Belts, or as fo many Girdles 
or Swathing-bands about the Body of the 
Earth : And fo the Word imports, and fo the 
Ancients ufe to call them Cinguli and Fafci^. 
But in the prefent Form of the Earth, if it 
was fGcn at a Diftance, no fuch Diftindion 
would appear in the Parts of it, nor fcarce any 
other but that of Land and Water, and of 
Mountains and Valleys, which are nothing to 
t^ie purpofe of Zones. And to add this Note 
further. When the Earth lay in this regular 
Form, divided into Regions or Walks, if I 
may fo call them, as this gave Occafion of its 


Concerning the Pri?n,E^rrhj a?idParadife. 373 
Diftindion by Zones j fo if we might consi- 
der all that Earth as a Paradife^ and Paradife 
as a Garden , (for it is always call'd fo in 
Scripture, and in JewiJJj Authors.) And as 
this Torrid Zone, bare of Grafs and Trees, 
made a kind of Gravel- walk in the Middle, 
fo there was a green Walk on either Hand of 
it, made by the temperate Zones ; and beyond 
thofe lay a Canal, which water'd the Garden 
from either Side. {See Fig. 3. c, 5.) 

But to return to Antiquity ; We may add 
under this Head another Obfervation or Doc- 
trine amongft the Ancients, ftrange enough in 
Appearance, which yet receives an eafy Expli- 
cation from the preceding Theory ; They fay. 
The Poles of the World did once change their 
Situation, and were at firft in another Pofture 
from what they are in now, till that Inclina- 
tion happen'd : This the ancient Philofophers 
often make mention of, as Anaxagoras^ Em- 
fedocles^ Diogenes^ Leucippus^ De?nocritm ; {See 
the Lat. Treat, lib. 2. c. 10.) as may be feen in 
Laertim^ and in Plutarch ; and the Stars, they 
fay, at firft were carried about the Earth in a 
more uniform Manner. This is no more than 
what we have obferv'd and told you in other 
Words, namely. That the Earth changed its 
Pofture at the Deluge, and thereby made 
thefe feeming Changes in the Heavens ,• its 
Poles before pointed to the Poles of the Eclip- 
tick, which now point to the Poles of the 
jEquator, and its Axis is become parallel v^^ith 
that Axis ; and this is tlie Myftery and Inter- 
pretation of what they fay in other Terms ; 

B b ^ this 

374 ^^-^^ Theory of the Earth. 
this makes the different Afpeft of the Heavens^ 
iind of its Poles,: And I am apt to think, that 
thofe Changes in the Courfe of the Stars, which 
the Ancients fometimes fpeak of, and eipecial- 
ly the Egyptians^ if they did not proceed from 
Defects in their Calendar, had no other phyfi- 
ca! Account than this. 

And as they fay the Poles of the World 
were in another Situation at firft, fo at firfl: 
they fay, there was no Variety of Seafons in 
the Year, as in their Golden Age. Which is 
very coherent with all die reft, and ftili runs 
along with the Theory. And you may ob- 
ferve, that all thefe Things we have inftanc'd in 
hitherto are but Links of the fame Chain, in 
Connexion and Dependance upon one another. 
When the prin.^val Earth was made out of 
the Chaos, its Form and Pofture was fuch, as 
of Courfe brought on all thofe Scenes which 
Antiquity hath kept the Remembrance of 5 
tho' now in another State of Nature they feem 
very ftrange , efpecially being difguis'd , ' as 
fome of them are, by their odd Manner of re- 
prefenting them. That the Poles of the World 
(lood once in another Pofture ^ That the Year 
had no Diverfity of Seafons , That the Torrid 
Zone was uninhabitable -, That the two He- 
mifphereshad no poffibility of Intercourfe, and 
fucii like -, Thefe all hang upon the fame 
String j or lean one upon another as Stones in 
the fam^e Building j whereof we have, by this 
Theory, laid the very Foundation bare, that 
you may fee what they all ftand upon, and ii) 
what Order, 


Concerning the Frhn, Earthy and Pamdife, 375 
There is ftill one remark:ible Notion or Doc- 
trine amongft the Ancients which we have 
not fpoken to ,• 'tis partly fymbolical, and the 
Propriety of the Symbol, or of the Applica 
tion of it, hath been little underftood j 'tiv 
their Dodrine of the Mftndcaic Egg^ or theii* 
comparing the World to an Egg, and efpeci- 
ally in the original Compoiltion of it. This 
feems to be a mean Comparifon, the World 
and an Egg^ what Proportion, or what Rc- 
femblance betwixt thefe two Things? And 
yet I do not know any fymbolical Doftrine, or 
Conclnfion, that hath been ib univerfally ea- 
tertain'd by the Myfi^^ or wife and learned pf. 
all Nations ; as hath been noted before in the 
fifth Chapter of the firft Book, and at large in 
the Latin Treatife, {Lih. 2. c. 10.) 'Tis cer- 
tain, that by the World in this Similitude, 
they do not mean the Great Univerfe, for that 
hatn neither Figure, nor any determinate Fcrni 
of Compofition, and it would be a great Va- 
nity and Raftinefs in any one to compare this to 
an Egg : The Works 01 God are immenfe, as 
his Nature is infinite, and we cannot make any 
Image or Refemblance of either of them , but 
this Comparifon is to be underftood of the 
SHblunary IVcrld^ or of the Earth : And for a 
general Key to Antiquity upon thii Argunient, 
we may lay this down as a Maxim or Canon, 
That what the Ancients 'hv/ve- [aid concerning 
the Form and Figure of the Worlds or concer?nng 
the Originrd of it frojn a Oaos^ or about its Pe- 
riods and Diffolution^are never to be under flood ^f 
the Great Uni'verfe^ but of our Earthy or of th^s 

V>b d. [ubhu 

'37^ The Theory of the E a R t h": 
fubhmary and teneftrial IVorld. And this Obfer- 
vation being made^ do but refled upon our 
Theory of the Earth, the Manner of its Com- 
pofition at firft, and the Figure of it, being 
compleated, and you will need no other Inter- 
preter to underftand this Myftery. We have 
fliow'dthere, {Book i. c. 5.) that the Figure of 
it, when finiflit, was Oval, and the inward 
Form of it was a Frame of four Regions, en- 
compalling one another, wliere that of Fire 
lay in the Middle like the Yolk, and a Shell 
of Earth inclos'd them alh This gives a So- 
lution fo eafy and natural, and fliows fuch an 
Aptnefs and Elegancy in the Reprefentation, 
that one cannot doubt upon a View and Com- 
pare of Circumftances, but that we have tru- 
ly found cut the Riddle of the Mundane Egg, 
Aaiongft other Difficulties arifing from the 
Form of this prefent Earth, that is one, How 
America could be peopled, or any other Con- 
tinent, or Ifland remote from all Continents, 
the Sea interpofing. This Difficulty does not 
hold in our Theory of the firft Earth, where 
there was no Sea. And after the Flood, when 
the Earth was broken and the Sea laid open, 
the fame Race of Men might continue there, 
if fettled there before. For I do not fee any 
Neceffity of deducing all Mankind from Noah 
after the Flood : If America was peopled be- 
fore, it might continue fo j not but that the 
Flood was univerfal. But when the great 
Frame of the Earth broke at the Deluge, Pro- 
yidence forefaw into how many Continents it 
l^^puld be divided after the ceafing of the 

Flood i 

Concerning the Prim. Earthy and Paradife, 377 
Flood ; and accordingly, as we may reafon- 
ably fuppofe, made Provifion to fave a Rem- 
nant in every Continent, that the Race of 
Mankind might not be quite extind in any of 
them. What Provifion he made in our Conti- 
nent we know from facred Hiftory j but as 
that takes Notice of no other Continent but 
ours, fo neither could it take Notice of any Me- 
thod that was us'd there for faving of a Rem- 
nant of Men ; but 'twere great Prefumption, 
methinks, to imagine that Providence had a 
Care of none but us, or could not find out 
Ways of Prefervation in other Places, as Vv^ell 
as in that where our Habitations were to be. 
JJia^ Africk and Europe^ were repeopled by 
the Sons of Noahj Shem^ 'Hmn^ and jafjet ; 
but we read nothing of their going over into 
America^ or fending any Colonies thither ,• and 
that World, which is near as big as ours, muft 
have flood long without People, or any thing 
of humane Race in it, after the Flood, if it 
flood fo till this was full, or till Men naviga- 
ted the Ocean, and by chance difcover'd it : 
It feems more reafonable to fuppofe, that there 
was a Stock providentially referv'd there, as 
well as here, out of which they fprung again ; 
but we do not pretend in an Argument of this 
Nature to define or determine any Thing po- 
fitively. To conclude. As this is but a lecon- 
dary Difficulty, and of no great Force, fo nei- 
ther is it any Thing peculiar to us, or to our 
Hypcthejif^ but alike common to both ^ and if 
they can propofe any reafonable Way whereby 
.the Sons of Noab might be tranfplanted into 


378 The Theory of the Earth. 

America^ with all my Heart ,♦ but all the Ways 
that I have met with hitherto have feem'd to 
nie mere Fidions, or mere Prefumptions. Be- 
fides, finding Birds rjid Beafts there, which are 
no where upon our Continent, nor would live 
in our Countries if brought hither ; 'tis a &ir 
Conjedure that they were not carried from us, 
but originally bred and preferv'd there. 

Thus much for the Illuftration of Anticjui- 
ty in fome Points of humane Literature, by 
our Theory of the primaeval Earth ; there is al- 
fo in 'Chriftia?i Antiquity a Tradition or Doc- 
trine, that appears as obfcure and as much a 
Paradox as any of thefe, and better deferves 
an lUuftration, becaufe it relates more clofely 
and exprefly to our prefent Subjeft : 'Tis that 
Notion or Opinion amongft the Ancients con- 
cerning Paradife^ that it was feated as high as 
the Spt^re of the Moon, or within the lunar 
Circle. This looks very frrange, and indeed 
extravagantly at firft Sight j but the Wonder 
will ceafe, if we underftand this not of Para- 
dife t?.kQn apart from the reft of the Earth, but 
of the whole primaeval Earth, wherein the Seat 
ofParadife was ^ That was really feated much 
higher than the prefent Earth, and maybe rea- 
fonably fuppos'd to have been as much elevated 
as the Top^ of our Mountains are now. And 
that Phrafe of reaching to the Sphere of the 
Moon, fignifies no more than thofe other Ex- 
prefTions of reaching to Heaven^ or reaching a- 
bcve the Clouds ; which are Phrafes commonly 
lu'd to exprefs the Height of Buildings, or of 
Mountains, and fuch like Things : So the 


Co?:cer?migtJx Trim. Earth, and Pctrndife. 379 
■Builders of Babel faid, they would make a 
Tower fliould reach to Heaven ; Olympis and 
Farnajfus are faid by the Poets to reach to 
Heaven, or to rife above the Clouds ^ and 
.p//;.'yand Solinm ufe this very ExprelTion of the 
Limar Circle^ when they defcribe the Height 
oi" Mount Atla-s^ Edu6ltis in ^iciniam Lunaris 
Circidij {Sclin. c. 17.) The Ancients, 1 be- 
lieye, aim'd particularly by this Phrafe, to ex- 
prcfs an Height above the middle Region, or 
above our Atmofphere, that Paradife might 
be ferene ,- and where our Atmofphere ended, 
they reckon'd the Sphere of the Moon begun, 
and therefore faid it reacht to the Sphere ot the 
Moon. Many of the Chriftian Fathers cx- 
preft their Opinion concerning the high Situ- 
ation of Paradife in plain and formal Terms, 
as St. Bafd^ Dajiiajie??, Mofes Bar Cepha, (jc. 
but this Phrafe of reaching to the Lunar Cir- 
cle is repeated by feveral of them, and faid to 
be of great Antiquity. Aquinas^ Albert us ^ 
and others, afcribe it to Bede, but many to 
St Aiiflin 5 and therefore Ambrofius Catharinus, 
{Com. in Gen, c, 2.) is angry with their great 
Schoolman, that-he fhouid derive it from 
Bede, feeing St. Aufiin writing to Orofius, de- 
jiver'd this Doftrine, which iurely, lays he, 
St. Aufiin neither jeignd ncr drennid onlj^ but 
had recei'vd it from Antiquity : And from fo 
great Antiquity, that it was no lefs than Apo- 
floiical, if we credit Alhcrtus Magnus^ and 
the ancient Books he appeals to j {Su?n. Theol 
far. 2. trati. 13. q. 79.) for he fiiys this Tra- 
dition was deriv'd as hidi as from St. Ihcinas 


3 8o The Theory of the E a r t h; 
the Apoftle. His Words are thefe, after he had 
deliver'd his own Opinion, Hoc tamen dico^ (j-c. 
But this I fay^ without Frejudice to the better 
Opinion^ for I have found it in [ovie ?noJi ancient 
Booh J that Thomas the Apojile zvas the Author 
of that Opinion^ which is ufually attributed to 
Bexle and Strabus, nainely^ That Paradife was 
fo high as to reach to the Lunar Circle. But 
thus much concerning this Opinion, and con- 
cerning Antiquity. 

To conclude all, we fee this Theory, which 
was drawn only by a Thread of Reafon, and 
the Laws of Nature, abftraftedly from all An- 
tiquity, notwithftanding cafts a Light upon 
many Paflfages there, which were otherwife 
accounted Fidions, or unintelligible Truths ,• 
and tho' we do not alledge thefe as Proofs of 
the Theory, for it carries its own Light and 
Proof with it ; yet whether we will or no, 
they do mutually confirm, as well as iliuftrate 
one another ^ and 'tis a Pleafure alfo, when 
one hath wrought out Truth by mere Dint of 
Thinking, and Examination of Caufes, and 
propos'd it plainly and openly, to meet with 
it again among the Ancients, difguis'd, and in 
an old fafhion d Drefs ^ fcarce to be known or 
difcover'd, but by thofe that before-hand knew 
it very w^ell. And it would be a further Plea- 
fure and Satisfaftion to have rendered thofe 
Doftrines and Notions, for the future, intelli- 
gible and ufeful to others, as well as delight- 
ful to our felves. 


Concerning the Trim. Earthy andParadife. 381 

Chap. IX. 

A general Objection againfi this Theory^ viz. 
That if there had been fnch a Primitive 
Earth, as we freteijd^ the Fa?ne of it zvould 
ha've founded throughout all Antiquity. The 
eafiern and weflern Learning confider'd. The 
jnofl confiderable Records of both are lofl. What 
Footflcp remain relating to this Subjei'f. The 
Jewifli and Chriftian Learning confiderd ; 
how far lofl as to this Argument^ and what 
Notes or Traditions remain, Lafily^ How far 
the facred Writings bear witnefs to it. The 
proindential Conduct of Knowledge in the 
World, A Recapitulation a?id State of the 

HAving gone thro' the two fir ft Parts, 
and the two firft Books of this Theo- 
ry^ that concern the primitive World, 
the univerfal Deluge, and the State of Para- 
dife^ we have leifure now to' refled a little, 
and confider what may probably be objeded 
againft a Theory of this Nature. I do not 
mean fingle Objedions againft fingle Parts, for 
thofe may be many, and fuch as I cannot fore- 
fee ; but what may be faid againft the Body 
and Subftance of the Theory, and the Credi- 
bility of it, appearing new and furprizing, and 
yet of great Extent and Importance. This, I 
fancy, will induce many to fay, furely this 
cannot be a Reality ; for if there had been 
fuch a primitive Earth, and fuch a primitive 


382 The Theory of the E a r t h. 
World as is here reprefented, and {o remark- 
ably different from the prefent, it could not 
have been io utterly forgotten, or lain hid for 
fo many Ages ^ all Antiquity would have rung 
of it 5 the Memory of it would have been 
kept frefh by Books or Traditions. Can we 
imagine that it fhould lie buried for fome 
thoufands of Years in deep Silence and Obli- 
vion ? and now only when the fecond World 
is drawing to an End, we begin to difcoVer 
that there was a iirft, and that of another 
Make and Order from. this. 

To fatisfy this Objedion, or Surmife rather, 
it will be convenient to take a good large 
Scope and Compafs in our Difcourfe , we mAift 
not fuppofe that this primitive World hath 
been wholly loft out of the Memory of Man, 
or out of Hiftcry, for we have fome Hiftory 
and Chronology of it preferv'd by Mofes^ and 
like wife in the Monuments of the Ancients, 
more or lefs ; for they all fuppo^'d a World 
before the Deluge. But 'tis the Philofophy of 
this primitive World that hath been loft in a 
great Meafure , what the State of Nature was 
then^ and wherein it differ'd from the prefent 
or poftdiluvian Order of Things.This, I confefs^ 
hath been little taken notice of j it hath been 
generally thought or prefum'd, that the World 
before the Flood was of the fame Form and 
Conftitution with the prefent World : This, 
we do not deny, but rather think it defign'd 
and providential, that there Ihould not lemain a. 
clear and full Knowledge of that firft State of 
Things 5 and we may eafily fuppofe how it. 


Concerning the Prim. Earthy and Paradife. 383 
might decay and perilh, if we confider how 
little of the remote Antiquities of the World 
have ever been^ brought down to our Know- 

The Greeks and Pomam divided the Ages qf 
the World into three Periods or Intervals , 
whereof they call'd the firft the Obfctiye Period, 
the fecond the Fabulous^ and the third Hifiori- 
cal The dark and oblcure Period- was from 
the Beginning of the World to the Deluge; 
what pafs'd then, either in Nature, or amongft 
Men, they have no Records, no Account, by 
their own Confeffion j all that Space of Time 
was cover'd with DarJcnefs and Oblivion ; fo 
that we ought rather, to wonder at thole Re- 
mains they have, and thofe broken Notions of 
the Golden Age, and the Conditions, of it, 
how they were fav'd out of the common Ship- 
wrack, than to exped from them the Philoio- 
phy of that World, and all its Differences from 
the prefent. And as for the other Nations that 
pretend to greater Antiquities, to more an- 
cient Hiilory and Chronology, from what is 
left of their Monuments, many will allow on- 
ly this Difference, that their fabulous Age be- 
gun more high, or that they had more ancieat 

But befides that our Expectations cannot be 
great from the Learning of the Gentiles^ we 
have not the Means or Opportunity to inform 
ourfelves well what Notions they did leave us 
concerning the primitive World ; for their 
. Books and Monuments are generally loft, or 
lie hid unknown to us. The Learning of the 


3 84 The Theory of the Earth. 
World may be divided into the Eaftern 
Learning and the Weftern j and^I look upon 
the Eaftern as far more confiderable for philo- 
fophical Antiquities, and philofophical Con- 
clufions ; I fay Condufions^ for I do not believe 
either of them had any confiderable Theory, 
or Contexture of Principles and Conclufions 
together : But 'tis certain that in the Eaft, 
from what Source foever it came, humane or 
divine, they had fome extraordinary Dodrines 
and Notions difperft amongft them. Now as 
by the weftern Learning we underftand that 
of the Greeks and Ro?nans ; fo by the eaftern, 
that which was amongft the JEgyptians^ Phcc^ 
nicians^ Chald^eans^ Affyriam^ Indians^ j^.thiO" 
fiam^ and Perfiam • and of the Learning of 
thefe Nations, how little have we now left ? 
except fome Fragments and Citations in Greek 
Authors, what do we know of them ? The 
modern Bracman^^ and the Perfees^ or PagaH 
Perfiavj^ have fome broken Remains of Tra- 
ditions relating to the Origin and Changes of 
the World : But if we had not only thofe 
Books entire,whereof we have now the Glean- 
ings and Reverfions only , but all that have 
perifht beiides, efpecially in that famous Li- 
brary at Alexa7idria -, if thefe, I fliy, were all 
reftor'd to the World again, we might pro- 
mife our felves the Satisfcdion of feeing more 
of the Antiquities, and natural Hiftory of the 
firft World, than we have now left, or can 
reafonably expedl. That Library we fpeak of 
at Alexandria , was a CoUedion , befide Greek 
Books, of jEgyptiaHy Chaldccan^ and all the 


Conceni'mg the Trim. Earthy and Paradife. 385 
eaftern Learning , and Cedrenus makes it to 
confift of an hundred thoufand Volumes : But 
Jofephur faith, when the Tranflation of the 
Bible by the Septuagint was to be added to it, 
Demetrius Phalerius^ (who was Keeper or Go- 
vernor of it) told the King then, that he had 
already two hundred thoufand Volumes, and 
that he hop'd to make them five hundred thou- 
fand j and he w^as better than his Word, or 
his Succeflbrs for him ; for Ammianus Marcel- 
linusj and other Authors, report them to have 
increased to feven hundred thoufand. This 
Library was unfortunately burnt in the facking 
oi Alexandria by C^far^ and confidering that 
all thefe were ancient Books, and generally of 
the eaflern Wifdom, 'twas an ineftimable and 
irreparable Lofs to the Commonwealth ot 
Learning. In like manner we are told of a 
vaft Library of Books of all Arts and Scien- 
ces in China^ burjit by the Command or Ca- 
price of one of their Kings. Wherein the 
ChinefeSj according to their Vanity, were us'd 
to fay, greater Riches were loft^ than will be 
in the laft Conflagration. 

We are told alfo of the AbyJ/ine^ or Mthio- 
pick Library, as fomething very extraordinary^ 
'Twas formerly in great Reputation, but is 
now, I fuppofe, embezii'd and lofl. But I 
was extremely furpriz'd by a Treatife brought 
to me fome few Months fince, wherein are 
mention'd fome AEthiopick Antiquities relating 
to the primaival Earth and the Deluge : To 
both which they give fuch Charafters and 
Properties as are in Effe(S the very fame with 
Book IL C e thofe 

3 86 The. Theory of the Earth. 
tliofe aflign'd them in this Theory. They fay 
the firft Earth was much greater than the pre- 
fentj higher and more advanc'd into the Air : 
That it was fmooth and regular in its Surface, 
without Mountains or Valleys, but hollow 
v/ithin ; and v/as fpontaneoufly fruitful, with- 
out plowing or fovving. This was its firft State ; 
but when Mankind became degenerate and 
outragious with Pride and Violence, the an- 
gry Gods, as they fay, by Earthquakes and 
Concuflions broke the habitable Orb of the 
Earth, and thereupon the fubterraneous Waters 
gufhing out, drown'd it in a Deluge, and de- 
ftroy'd Mankind. Upon this Fradtion^ it came 
into another Form, with a Sea, Lakes and Ri- 
vers, as we now have. And thofe Parts of 
the broken Earth that flood above the Waters, 
became Mountains, Rocks, Iflands,and fo much 
of the Land as we now inhabit. This Account 
is given us by Bar?iardmus Rainazzinus^ (in his 
Treatife De Fontiiim M-Htinenfium ScaturigineJ^) 
Taken from a Book writ by Fra?icijco Patricio^ 


* Page 41. Tra/iciCns FairiciuSy Vir eriiditione fat claruSy in 
(jHodjim J/bel/o fuo de Afjilqiiorum Rhetoric /iy ItaUco idicmate con- 
jrripfOy acVe77eti'is mrprejfo per Fvancif cum Se 7:671 fern., Dialogo pr't- 
»io f.itis lepid.ttn narr.itionem habef, quam refert JuVmm Strozz^m 
a Comite Balthafars CaJtUloneo /tud'ivrjfe. Ilium i:er6 a Fh'i- 
lofopho cjuodnm Ahxjfwo in Hifpania nccep'ijfe. ISJarrahat ergo 
fiip/ens file Ahyjfinus _in anfiquiffimis JEthiopiie Af?nalibus defcrip- 
tcim fjje hifiori.rm peyditio7jis bumani generis Qp difrnpioTtis totitts 
'Terra* In Mundi JcilTcet pvimordiis juijj'e Terram innlto amplio-. 
rem cf nam nunc ejr^ ■ac' Coclo ■proximiorerii^ pcrfecle rotti77damy Jlne 
Montibus.j ac Valubksy tO'tam tamen ijitus cnijerncfwi ad injlar 
fpo?2gi^i-i hcm})iefciue iv. ilia habitant es^ ac Athere ,pnri^imo gauden- 
teiy-incunditni xvurn dtix/Jj'ej 'Terra inaratii o,piini:.s fruges^ & 
jrnciiis ferente, Cttm aftt^m po/i d'mturmwi jaculorufTi fiuxum 
hqmhici fuperbiA.elatf^d^ri/jc^^HIa bonitate defcivt£'ent, Deos ira- 
. ' " " * ■ " " tos 

Concerning theVrinu Earthy andTaradife, 387 
to whom this wonderful Tradition was deli* 
ver'd by Perfons of Credit, from an jEthio^ 
pian Philofopher then in Sfain, I have not yet 
nad the good Fortune to fee that Book of 
Francifco Patricio ; 'tis writ in Italian with this 
Title, Delia Rhetor ica degli A?nichi : Printed 
at Venice^ 15^2. This Story indeed deferves 
to be enquired after, for we do not any where 
amongft the Ancients meet with fuch a full 
and explicit Narration of the State of the firft 
and fecond Earth. That which comes neareft 
to it are thofe Accounts we find in Vlato^ from 
the Egyptian Antiquities, in his Tim^ciis^ Po- 
liticus^ and Phccdo^ of another Earth, and ano- 
ther State of Nature and Mankind. But none 
of them are fo full and diftindi as this jEthio^ 
pian Dodrine. 

As for the weftern Learning, we may re- 
member what the jEgyptian Prieft fays to So- 
Ion in Plato's TiiUcCits^ Tou Greeks are always 
Children^ and know nothing of Antiquity -, and 
if the Greeks were fo, much more the Ho?nanSy 
who came after them in time , and -for fo great 
a People, and fo much civiliz'd, never any 
had lefs Philofophy, and lefs of the Sciences 
amongft them than the Jiomans had : They 

C c 2 ftudied 

tPi 'Ten-am adeo vAlide concufpjfe^ ut majcr illius p/7rs infra pro- 
p'}as ca-vernas deciderify ataus hoc p:icio A^yt^m in l.itebrofis re- 
cfjpbui ante conchtfaw , exprejfam "jiohfitcr fi^ifify atqus ita Fern" 
tes, Fluymn.'r^ hactts 6jf I\ri.v,-e ipfum ortum d:txijf^. Earn vera 
^e/rci porfionem qy.x, intra has ca'vervas ncn decid^Jpt^ fed reli- 
ef Ua elatior Jiet'rjfcf, Mcntium formam exlihu'tjfe. Irfulasporro 
&* fcopulos in medio m.^ri nil aliud e.Jj'e niii fementa 'Terr^ ca^a-* 
ftofd ah ilh ioiipfs terrene mjUs pr^ccipiti cjfu fiiperj^ifls. 

3 § 8 The Theory of the Earth. 
ftudied only the Art of Speaking, of Govern- 
ing, and of Fighting j and left the reft to the 
Greeks and eaftern Nations, as unprofitable. 
Yet we have Reafon to believe, that the beft 
philofophical Antiquities that the Ro?nam had, 
perifli'd with the Books of Varro^ of Numa 
Pornfilm^ and of the ancient Sibyls^ (J)e Qv» 
Dei:, lib. 6, Dion, Halic. Ant, Rom, lib. 4.) Var- 
YO writ, as St. Auflin tells us, a Multitude of 
Volumes, and of various Sorts, and I had ra- 
ther retrieve his Works, than the Works of 
any other Ro?nan Author j not his Etymolo- 
gies and Criticifms, where we fee nothing ad- 
mirable, but his Theclogia Phyfica^ and his An- 
tiquitates ; which in all Probability would have 
given us more Light into remote Times, and 
the natural Hiftory of the part World, than 
all the Latin Authors befides have done. He 
has left the foremention'd Diftindion of three 
Periods of Time j He had the Dodrine of the 
Mundane Egg^ as we fee in Probus Gramma- 
tictfs ; and he gave us that Obfervation of the 
Star VenuSy concerning the great Change Ihe 
fuffer'd about the Time of our Deluge. 

Numa Pomplms was doubtlefs a contempla- 
tive Man, and 'tis thought that he underftood 
the true Syftem of the World, and reprefent- 
ed the Sun by his Vejial Fire ^ tho', m.ethinks, 
Vejfa does not fo properly refer to the Sun, as 
to the Earth, w^hich hath a facred Fire too^ 
that is not to be extingui&t. He order'd his 
Books to be buried with him, which were 
found in a Stone Cheft by him, four hundred 
Years after his Death ; They were in all twen- 

Concerning the Trim. Earthy and Paradife, 5 8p 
ty-four; whereof twelve contained facred Rites 
and Ceremonies, and the other twelve the 
Philofophy and Wifdom of the Greeks-, the 
'Romans gave tliem to the Frdtor Petilim to 
perufe ; and to make his Report to the Senate, 
whether they were fit to be publifht or no : 
The Frdtor made a wife politick Report, that 
the Contents of them might be of dangerous 
Confequence to the eftabliflit Laws and Reli- 
gion ; and thereupon they were condemned to 
be burnt, and Pofterity was depriv'd of that 
ancient Treafure, whatfoever it was. What 
the nine Books of the Sihjl contained , that 
were offer'd to King Tarquin^ we little know ^ 
file valued them high, and the higher ftill, the 
more they feem'd to flight or negle<S them i 
which is a Piece of very natural Indignation or 
Contempt, when one isfatisfied of the Worth 
of what they offer. 'Tis likely they refpedl- 
ed, befides the Fate of Rome^ the Fare and fe- 
veral Periods of the World, both part and to 
come, and the moft myftical Pallages of them. 
And in thefe Authors and Monuments are loft 
the greateft Hopes of natural and philofophick 
Antiquities, that we could have had from the 

And as to the Greeks^ their beft and facred 
Learning was not originally their own ,• they 
enricht themfejves with the Spoils of the Eaft, 
and the Remains we have of that eaftern Learn- 
ing, is what we pick out of the Greeks ,• 
whofe Works, I believe, if they were entirely 
extant, we ftiould not need to go any further 
for WitnelTes to confirm all the principal Parts 

C c 3 of 

35?o The Theory of the Earth. 
of this Theory. With what Regret does one 
read in LaertiifS^^ Stiidas^ and others, the pro- 
miiing Titles of Books writ by the Greek Phi- 
lofophers, hundreds or thoulands, whereof 
there is not one now extant ^ and thofe that 
are extant are generally but Fragments: Thofe 
Authors alio that have writ their Lives^ or col- 
leded their Opinions, have done it confufedly 
and injudicioufly. I fliould hope for as much 
Light and Inftrudion, as to the Original of the 
World, from Orpkem alone^ if his Works had 
been preferv'd, as from all that is extant now 
of the other Greek Philofophers. We may fee 
from what remains of him, that he underftood 
in a good Meafure how the Earth rofe from a 
Chaos, what was its external Figure, and what 
the Form of its inward Structure : The Opi- 
nion of the Oval Figure of the Earth is afcrib'd 
to Crpheifs and his Difciples ; and the Dodrine 
of the Mmdane Egg is fo peculiarly his, that 
\is caird by Proclus^ the Orpkick Egg ; not that 
he was the firft Author of that Doftrine, but 
the firft that brought it into Greece. 

Thus much concerning the Heathen Learn- 
ing, eaftern and weftein, and the fmall Re- 
mains of it in Things Phiiofophical j' 'tis no 
Wonder then if the Account we have left us 
from them of the primitive Earth, and the An- 
tiquities of the natural World be very imper- 
fc(S. And yet we have trac'd (in the prece- 
dent Chapter, and more largely in our Latin 
Treatife) the Footfteps of feveral Parts of this 
Theoi-y among'ft the Writings and Traditions 
of the Ancients, and even of thofe Parts that 


Conceniing the Vriw. Enrth^ aijd Faradife. ^91 
feem the nioft flrange and /Angular, and that 
are the Ba/is upon which the reft ftand. We 
have fliown there, tliat their Account of the 
Chaos, tho' it feem'd to many but a poetical 
Rhapfody, contained the true Myfiery of the 
Formation of the primitive Earth, {TtlL Theo\ 
lib. 2. r. 7.) We have alio fliown upon the 
fame Occafion, that both the external Figure 
and internal Form of that Earth were conipriz'd 
and lignified in tiieir ancient Dodrine of the 
Mundane Egg, Vx^liich hath been propagated 
through all the learned N-.tions, {Ibid. Cap, 
10.) And laftly,^ As to the Situation of that 
Earth, and the Change of its Pofture fince, 
that the Memory of that has been kept up, we 
have brought feveral Teftimonies and Indica- 
tions from the Greek Philofophers, (UAd.) And 
thefe w'ere the three great and fundamental 
Properties of the primitive Earth, upon which 
all the other depend, and all its Differences 
from the prefent Order of Nature. You fee 
then, tho' Providence hath fuffer'd the ancient 
Heathen Learning and their Monuments, in a 
great Part, to perifh, yet we ai^^ not left whol- 
ly v/ithout Witnefies amongft them, in a Spe- 
culation of this great Importance. 

You wall fay, it may be, tho' this Account, 
as to the Books and Learning of the Heathen, 
may be lookt upon as reafonable, yet w-e 
might exped however, fromi the Jewifjj and 
Chriftian Authors, a more full and fatisfaclory 
Account of tliat primitive Earth, and of the 
old World. Firft, as to the JewSj 'tis well 
known that they have no ancient Learning, 

C c 4 unlefs 

3 9% The Theory of the E a r t h. 

unlefs by Way of Tradition, amongft them. 
There is not a Book extant in their Language, 
excepting the Canon of the Old Teftament, 
that hath not been writ fince our Saviours 
Time. They are very bad Mafters of Anti- 
quity, and they may in fome Meafure be ex- 
cus'd 3 becaufe of their feveral Captivities , 
Difperfions, and Defolations. In the Babylo- 
nifld Captivity their Temple was ranfack'd, 
and they did not preferve, as is thought, fo 
much as the Autograph or original Manufcript 
of the Law, nor the Books of thole of their 
Prophets that were then extant, and kept in 
the Temple ; and at their Return from th^ 
Captivity after feventy Years,they feem to have 
had forgot their native Language fo much^ 
that the Law was to be interpreted to them 
in Chaldee^ after it was read in Hebrew ; for 
To I underftand that Interpretation in Nehe- 
miah^ {Chap. 8. 7, 8,) 'Twas a great Provi- 
dence, methinks, that they fiiould any" Way 
preferve their Law, and other Books of Scrip- 
ture, in the Captivity, for fo long a Time; 
for 'tis likely they had not the Liberty of uiing 
them in any publick Worfliip, feeing they re- 
turned fo ignorant of their own Language , 
and, as 'tis thought, of their Alphabet and 
Charader too. And if their facred Books 
were hardly preferv'd, we may eafily believe 
all others perillit in that publick Defolation. 

Yet there was another Deftruition of that 
Nation, and their Temple, greater than this, 
by the Romans; and if there were any Re- 
inains of Learning preferv'd in the former 


Conccrningthe Trim. Earthy a/idParadife. 393 
Ruin, or any Recruits made fince that Time, 
this fecond Delblation would fweep them all 
away. And accordingly we fee they have no- 
thing left in their Tongue, befide the Bible, 
(o ancient as the Deftrudion of Jeru[ale?n. 
Thefe, and other publick Calamities of the 
JewiJJo Nation may reafonably be thought 
to have wafted their Records of ancient 
Learning, if they had any ^ for to fpeak Truth, 
the Jews are a People of little Ciiriofity, as 
to Sciences and philolophical Enquiries : They 
were very tenacious of their own Cuftoms, 
and careful of thofe Traditions that did re- 
fpeft them, but were not remarkable, that I 
know of, or thought great Proficients in any 
other fort of Learning. There has been a 
great Fame, 'tis true, of the Jewijh Cabala^ 
and of great Myfteries contain'd in it ; and, I 
believe, there was once a traditional Dodrine 
amongft fome of them, that had extraordina- 
ry Notions and Conclufions : But where is 
this now to be found ? The Effenes were the 
likelieft Seft, one would think, to retain fuch 
Dodrines i but 'tis probable they are now fo 
mixt with Things fabulous and fantaftical, 
that what one fiiould alledge from thence 
would be of little or no Authority. One 
Head in this Cabala was the Do&ine of the 
Sephiroth^ (Vide Men. ben Ifr. de Creat, prob, 2 8.) 
and tho' the Explication of them be uncer- 
tain, the inferior Sephiroth in the corporeal 
World cannot fo well be apply'd to any Thing, 
as to thofe feveral Orbs and Regions, infolding 
one another, whereof the primigenial Earth 


3^4 "^^-^^ Theory of the E a r t h. 
was compos'd: Yet fuch Conjedures and Ap- 
plications^ I knowj are of no Validity, but in 
Confort with better Arguments. I have of- 
ten thought alfo, that their firft and fecond 
Temple reprefented the firft and fecond Earth 
or World j and that of Ezekiers^ which is 
the third, is (till to be erecSed, the moft beau- 
tiful of all, when this fecond Temple of the 
World fliall be burnt down. If the Prophe- 
cies of Enoch had been preferv'd, and taken 
into the Canon by Ezra^ after their Return 
from Babylon^ when the CoUedion of their 
facred Books is fuppos'd to have been made, 
we might probably have had a confiderable 
Account there, both of Times paft and to 
come, of Antiquities and Futuritions ; for thofe 
Prophecies are generally fuppos'd to have con- 
tain'd both the firft and fecond Fate of this 
fiarth, and all the Periods of it. But as this 
Book is loft to us, fo I look upon all others 
that pretend to be Ante-Mofiical or Patriar- 
chal, as fpurious and fabulous. 

Thus much concerning the 'Jews* As for 
Chriflian Authors, their Knowledge muft be 
from fome of thefe foremention'd Jews or 
Heathens ; or elfe by Apoftolical Tradition : 
For the Chriflian Fathers were not very fpecu- 
lative, fo as to raife a Theory from their own 
Thoughts and Contemplations, concerning 
the Origin of the Earth. We have inftanc'd, 
in the laft Chapter, in a Chriflian Tradition 
concerning Paradife^ and the high Situation 
of it, which is fully confonant to the Scite of 
the Primitive. Earthj where Paradife ftood, and" 


Cofjceniing the Trim. Earthy and Faradife. 395 
doth fecm plainly to refer to ir, being unin- 
telligible upon any other Suppofiticn. And 
Was, I believe^ this Elevation otParadife^ and 
the Pencil Stru(fture of that Taradifiacal Earth, 
that gave Occafion to Celju>\ as we fee by OW- 
gens Anfwcr, to lay, that the U:f:fiia7i Puradife 
was taken from the penfile Gardens of Aid- 
nous : But we may (ee now what was the 
Ground of fuch EKprcfTions or Traditions a- 
nicngft the Ancients, which Providence left 
to keep Mens Minds awake ; not fully to in- 
ftrud them, but to confirm them in the Truth, 
when it ihould come to be made known in 
other Methods. We have noted alio above, 
that the ancient Books and Authors amongft 
,the Ckriftirah'y that were mofl: likely to inform 
us in this Argument, have perifli'd, and are 
loft out of the World, fuch as Ephrem Syriis 
de crtu renm^ and Tertullian de Paradifo ; and 
that Piece,which is extant of M^^^ Bar Cephas 
upon this Subject, receives more Light from 
our hypothefa^ than from any other I know ; 
for, correding fome Miftakes about the Fi- 
gure of the Earth,which the Ancients were often 
guilty of, the Obfcurity or Confufion of that 
Difcourfe in other things may be ea/ily refti- 
fied, if cpmpar'd with this Theory. 

of this Nature alfo is that Tradition that is 
common bothto^^^-^" and Chrijiiaris^and which 
we have often mentioned before, thsi,t there 
was a perpetual Serenity, and perpetual Equi- 
nox in Paradife ; which cannot be upon this 
Earth, not fo much as under the Equinodial j 
for they have a fort of Winter and Summer 


\^g6 The Theory of th€ E a r t h: 
there, a Courfe of Rains at certain times of 
the Year^ and great Inequalities of the Air, 
as to Heat and Cold, Moifture and Drought. 
They had alfo Traditions amongft them^ That 
ihere was no F.ain from the Beginning of the 
World till the Dduge^ and that there were no 
Mountains till the Floods (Lat. Treat. Lib. 2. 
c. 10.) and fuch like. Thefe, you fee, point 
diredly at fuch an Earth, as we have defcrib'd. 
And 1 call thefe Traditions^ becaufe we can- 
not find the Original Authors of them ,* the 
ancient ordinary Glofs (upon Genefis) which 
fome make eight hundred Years old, mentions 
both thefe Opinions ; fo does Hijioria Scholaf- 
ticay AlctiifUPSy Rabanm Maurm^ Lyranus^ and 
fuch CoUedors of Antiquity. Bede alfo re- 
lates that of the Plalnnefs or Smoothnefs of 
the Antedilwvian Earth. Yet thefe are report- 
ed Traditionally, as it were, naming no Au- 
thors or Books from whence they were taken : 
Nor can it be imagin'd that they feign'd them 
themfelves , to what End or Purpofe,? it ferv'd 
no Intereft , or upon what Ground i feeing 
they had no Theory that could lead them to 
fuch Notions as thefe, or that could be flreng- 
then'd and confirm'd by them. Thofe Opi- 
nions alfo of the Fathers, which we recited in 
the feventh Chapter, placing Paradife beyond 
the Torrid Zone, and making it therefore in- 
acceffible, fuit very well to the Form, Quali- 
ties, and Bipartition of the Primaeval Earth, 
and feem to be grounded upon them. 

Tiius much may ferve for a ihort Survey of 
the antient Learning, to give us a reafonable 


Concerning the Trim. Earthy andParadife. 397 
Account, why the Memory arid Knowledge 
of the Primitive Earth fliould be fo much loft 
out of the World ; and what we retain of it 
(till ; which would be £ir more, I do not 
doubt, if all Manufcripts were brought ta 
light, that are yet extant in publick or private 
Libraries. The Truth is, one cannot judge 
with Certainty, neither what things have been 
recorded and preferv'd in the Monuments of 
Learning, nor what are flill ; not what have 
been, becaufe fo many of thofe Monuments 
are loft : The Alexandrian Library, w^hich w^e 
fpoke of before, feems to have been the great- 
eft CoUedion that ever was made before Chri- 
ftianity, and the ConftantinofGlitan (begun by 
Conftantine^ and deftroy'd in the fifth Century, 
when it was rais'd to the Number, as is faid, 
of one hundred twenty thoufand Volumes) 
the moft valuable that was ever fince, and 
both thefe have been permitted by Providence 
to perifli in the mercilefs Flames. Befide thofe 
Devaftations of Books and Libraries that have 
been made in Chriftendom, by the Northern 
barbarous Nations overflowing Europe^ and 
the Saracens and Turb^ great Parts of j^Jia and 
Jfrick. It is hard therefore to pronounce 
what Knowledge hath been in the World, or 
what Accounts of Antiquity ; neither can 
we well judge what remain, or of what things 
the Memory may be ftill latently conferv'd : 
For befide thofe Manufcripts that are yet un- 
examined in thefe Parts of Chriftendom, there 
are many, doubtlefs, of good Value in other 
Parts y befide thofe that He hid in the unchrif- 


3p8 The Theory of the Eakt h. 
tianiz'd Dominions. The Library of Fez is 
faid to contain thirty two thoufimd Volumes 
in Arabick -, and though the Arabick Learning 
was moft what JVeflern^ and therefore of lefs 
Account, yet they did deal in Eajiern Learning 
too y for Avicenna writ a Book with that Ti- 
tle, Philofophia Orientalis. There may be alfa 
in the E<i// Thoufands of Manufcripts unknown 
to us, of greater Value than moft Books we 
have : And as to thofe Subjefts we are treat- 
ing of, I fhould promife my felf more Light 
and Confirmation from the Syriack Authors 
than from any others. Thefe things being 
confider'd, we can make but a very imperfect 
Eftimate, what Evidences are left us, and what 
Accounts of the primitive Earth , and if thefe 
Deductions and Dedications be made, bath 
for what Books are wholly loft, and for what 
lie afleep or dead in Libraries, we have Rea- 
fon to be fatisfied in a Theory of this Nature^ 
to find fo good Atteftations as we have pro- 
duced for the feveral Parts of it; which we 
purpofe to enlarge upon confiderabiy at ano- 
ther time and occafion. 

But to carry this Objedion as far as may be^ 
let us fuppofe it to be urg d flill in die laff 
Place, that though thefe Humane Writings 
have perii'h'd, or be imperfeft, yet in the Di- 
vine Writings at leaft, we might exped: that 
the Memory of the old World, and of the 
primitive Earth fliould have been preferv'd^ 
To this I anfvver in (hort, that we could not 
expeft in the Scriptures any natural Theory 
of that Earth, nor any Account of it, but 


Concernhig the P)im. Earthy and Paradife. 399 
what was general ; and this we have both 
by the Tehom Rabba of Mofes^ and the De- 
fcription of the fame Abyfs in other Places of 
Scripture, as we have fliown at large in the 
firft Book, Chap. 7. And alfo by the Defcrip- 
tion which St. Teter hath given of the ante- 
diluvian Heavens and Earth, and their diffe- 
rent Conftitution from the prefent , which i^ 
alfo prov'd by the Rainbow, not feen in the 
firfl: World. You will fay, it may be, that 
that Place of St. Fcter^ 1 Pet. 3. ^^6:,(jc. is ca- 
pable* of another Interpretation ,• fo are moft 
Places of Scripture, if you fpeak of a bare 
Capacity, they are capable of more than one 
Interpretation : But that which is moft natu- 
ral, proper, and congruous, and fuitable to 
the Words, fuitable to the Argument, and 
fuitable to the Context, wherein is nothing fu- 
perfluous or impertinent, that we prefer and 
accept of as the moft reafonable Interpretation. 
Befides, in fuch Texts as relate to the natural 
World, if of two Interpretations propos'd, one 
agrees better with the Theory of Nature than 
the other, c^^tcris faribus^ that ought to be 
prefer'd. And by thefe two Rules we are 
willing to be try'd, in the Expofition of that 
remarkable Difcourfe of St. Peter's^ and to 
(land to that Senfe which is found moft agree- 
able to them. 

Give me leave to conclude the whole Dif- 
courfe with this general Confideration : 'Tis 
i:pafonable to fuppofe, that there is a Provi- 
dence in the Condud oi Kiiowlcdge^ as well 
as of other Affairs on the Earth i and that it 


40O The Theory of the Earth. 
was not defign'd that all the Myfteries of Na- 
ture and Providence Ihould be plainly and 
clearly underftobd throughout all the Ages of 
the World j but that there is an Order efta- 
blifh'd for this, as for Other Things, and cer- 
tain Periods and Seafohs , and what was made 
known to the Ancients only by broken Con- 
clufions and Traditions, will be known (in the 
latter Ages of the World) in a more perfed: 
way, by Principles and Theories. The In- 
creafe of Knowledge being that which chan- 
geth fo much the Face of the World, and the 
State of humane Affairs, I do not doubt but 
there is a particular Care and Superintendency 
for the Condu(5t of it j by what Steps and De- 
grees it fliould come to light, at what Seafons 
and in what Ages ^ what Evidence fliould be 
left, either in Scripture, Reafon or Tradition, 
for the Grounds of it j how clear or obfcure, 
how difpers'd or united : All thefe things 
were weigh'd and confider'd, and fuch Mea- 
fures taken as befl: fuit the Defigns of Provi- 
dence, and the general Pi-ojed and Method 
proposed in the Government of the World. And 
I make no Quefiion but the State both of the 
Old World, and of that which is to come, is ex- 
hibited to us in Scripture in fuch a Meafure 
and Proportion, as is fit for this foremention- 
cd Purpofe ,* not as the Articles of our Faith^ 
or the Precepts of a good Life, which he that 
runs may read ,^ but to the attentive and re- 
flexive, to thofe that are unprejudiced, and to 
thofe are inquisitive, and have their Minds 
open and prepar'd for the Difcernnient of My- 
fteries of fuch a Nature* Thus 

Concerning the Trim. Earthy and Paradife. 40 1 
Thus much in Anfwer to that general Ob-f 
jedion wnich might be made againft tnis 
Tneory, TiMt it is not founded in Antiquity. I 
do not doubt but there may be many particular 
Objedions againft Parts and Scdions of it, and 
the expofing it thus in our own Tongue may 
excite fome or other, it may be, to make 
them ; but if any be fo minded, I defire (if 
they be Scholars) that it may rather be in La-^ 
tin^ as being more proper for a Subjed of this 
Nature ,* and alio that they would keep them- 
felves clofe to the Subftance of the Theory, 
and wound that as much as they can : But to 
make Excurfions upon Things accidental or 
collateral, that do not deftroy the Hyfcthefis^ 
is but to trouble the World with Im pertinen- 
cies. Now the Subftance of the Theory is 
this, THAT there was a Primiti've Earth of 
another Form from the prefent, and inhabited 
by Mankind till the Deluge : That it had 
thofe Properties and Conditions that we have 
afcrib'd to it, namely, a perpetual Equinox or 
Spring, by reafon of its right Situation to the 
Sun j was of an oval Figure, and the exterior 
Face of it fmooth and uniform, without Moun^ 
tains or a Sea. That in ^his Earth ftood Para- 
dife ; the Dodrine whereof cannot be under- 
ftood but upon Suppofition of this primitive 
Earth, and its Properties. Then that the Dif- 
ruption and Fall of this Earth into the Abyfs, . 
which lay under it, was that which made the 
univerfal Deluge, and the Deftrudion of the 
old World ; and that neither Noah's Flood, 
nor the prefent Form of the Earth, can be ex- 
. Book 11. D d plain'd 

402 The Theory of the Earth. 
plain'd in any other Method that is rational, 
nor by any other Caufes that are intelligible, at 
leaft, that have been hitherto propos'd to the 
World. Thefe are the Vitals of the Theory, 
and the primary Affertions, whereof 1 do free- 
ly profefs my full Belief j and whofoever 
lid Reafons will fliow me in an Error, and un- 
deceive me, I fliall be very much oblig'd to 
him. There are other leiTer Conclufions which 
flow from thefe, and may be call'd Secondary, 
as^ that the Longevity of the Ante-diluvians 
depended upon their perpetual Equinox, and 
the perpetual Equality and Serenity of the 
Air; That the Torrid Zone in the primitive 
Earth was uninhabitable, and that all their Ri- 
vers flow'd from the extreme Parts of the 
Earth towards the Equinodialj there being 
neither Rain, nor Rainbow, in the temperate 
and habitable Regions of it : And laftly. That 
the Place of Faradife^ according to the Opi- 
nion of Antiquity, (for I determine no Place 
by the Theory) was in the fouthern Hemi- 
fphere. Thefe, I think, are all truly deduc'd 
and prov'd in their feveral Ways, tho' they be 
not fuch efiential Parts of the Theory, as the 
former. There are alfo befides, many parti- 
cular Explications that are to be confider'd 
with more Liberty and Latitude, and may be 
perhaps upon better Thoughts, or better Ob- 
. fervations, corrected, without any Prejudice 
to the general Theory. Thofe Places of Scrip- 
ture, which we have cited, I think, are ail 
truly aj^ply'd,- and I have not mentioned Mo- 
^■[es'sCoJmopaiay'bQcmk I thought it deliver'd 

I by 

Concerningthe Trim. Earthy andParadife. 403 
by him as a Lawgiver, not as a Philofopher,* 
which 1 intend to fliow at large in another 
Treatife, not thinking that Difcuffion propef 
for the vulgar Tongue. Upon the whole, we 
are to remember, that fome Allowances are to 
be made for every Hypothefis that is new pro^ 
pos'd and untry'd j and that we ought not, out 
of Levity of Wit, or any private Defign, dif- 
countenance free and fair Eflays ; nor from any 
other Motive, but the only Love and Con- 
cern of Truth. 

Chap. X. 

Concerning the Author of Nature. 

SEeing the Theory which we have propos'd 
in this Work is of that Extent and Com- 
prehenfion, that it begins with the firft 
Foundation of this World, and is to reach to 
the laft Period of it, in one continued Series 
or Chain of Nature ; it will not be improper, 
before we conclude, to make fome Reflections 
and Remarks what Nature is, and upon what 
fuperior Caufes ihe depends in all her Motions 
and Operations : And this will lead us to the 
Difcovery of the Author of Nature, and to the 
true Notion and State of Natural Providence^ 
which feems to have been hitherto very much 
negleded, or little underflood in the World, 
And 'tis the more reafonable and fitting that 
we fliould explain thefe Notions before we 
(hut up this Treatife, left thofe natural Expli- 
cations which we have given of the Deluge, 

D d 2 aqd 

404 The Theory of the EarthJ 

and other Things, ftiould be miftaken or mif- 
apply'd y feeing fome are apt to run away with 
Pieces of a Difcourfe, which they think appli- 
cable to their Purpofe, or which they can ma- 
licioufly reprefent, without attending to the 
Scope or jufl Limitations of what is fpoken. 

By Nature in general is underftood all the 
Powers of finite Beings, with the Laws efta- 
blifiit for their Aftion and Conduft according 
to the ordinary Courfe of Things, And this 
extends both to intelleftual Beings and corpo- 
real ; but feeing 'tis only the material World 
that hath been the Subjed of our Difcourfe, 
Nature, as to that, may be defin'd, the Pow- 
ers of Matter^ with the Laws eftablifii'd for 
their Action and Condu(ft. Seeing alfo Matter 
hath no Adion, whether from it felf, or im- 
prefl: upon it , but Motion, as to the corporeal 
World, Nature is no more than the Powers 
and Capacities of Matter^ with the Laws that 
govern the Motions of it. And this Definition 
is fo plain and eafy, that, I believe, all Par- 
ties will agree in it ; there will alfo be no 
great Controverfy what thefe Laws are. As 
that one Part of Matter cannot penetrate ano- 
ther, nor be in feveral Places at once^ That 
the greater Body overcomes the lefs, and the 
iwifter the flower ; That all Motion is in a 
right Line, till fomething obftrud it or divert 
it ; which are Points little difputed as to the 
Matter of Fad ,• but the Points concerning 
which the Controverfy arifeth, and which are 
to lead us to the Author of Nature, are thefe : 
JVho or zvhat is the Author of thefe Lazk}s ? 


Concerning the Fr'muEarth^ andParadife. 40 5: 
of this Motion^ and even of Matter it k\? -^ 
and of all thofe Modes and Forms of it which 
we lee in Nature i 

The Queftion ufeth chiefly to be put con- 
cerning Motion^ how it came into the World i 
what the firft Source of it is, or how Matter 
came at firft to be mov'd ? For the fimple No- 
tion of Matter, not divided into Parts, nordi- 
verfified, doth not imply Motion, but Exten- 
fion only ; 'Tis true, from Extenfion there ne- 
ceflarily follows Mobility^ or a Capacity of be- 
ing mov'd by an external Power, but notadu- 
al or necellliry Motion, fpringing from it felf 
For Pimenfions, or Length, Breadth, and 
Depth, which is the Idea of Matter, or of a 
Body, do no Way include local Motion, or 
Translation of Parts ,• on the contrary, we do 
more eafily and naturally conceive (imple Ex- 
tenfion as a Thing fteady and fixt j and if we 
conceive Motion in it, or in its Parts, we muft 
fuperadd fomething to our firft: Thought, and 
fomething that does not flow from Extenfion. 
As when we conceive a Figure, a Triangle, 
Square, or any other, we naturally conceive it 
fixt or quiefcent ; and if afterwards we ima- 
gine it in Motion, that is purely accidental to 
the Figure , in like Manner it is accidental to 
Matter, that there fhould b^ Motion in it, it 
hath no inward Principle fron) whence that cm\ 
flow, and its Nature is compleat without it^ 
wherefore, if we find Motion and Adion in 
Matter, which is of it felf a dead inadive 
Mafs j thisftiould lead us immediately to the 
Author of Nature, or to fome external Power 

Dd 3 diftind 

4o5 The Theory of the Earth^ 
diftind from Matter, which is the Caufe of 
all Motion in the World. 

In fingle Bodies, and fingle Parts of Mat- 
ter, we readily believe and conclude, that they 
do not move, unlefs fomething move them, 
and why fhould we not conclude the fame 
Thing of the whole Mafs > If a Rock or 
Mountain cannot move it felf, nor divide it 
feif, either into great Gobbets, or into fmall 
Powder, why fliould it not be as impoffihle 
for the whole Mafs of Matter to do fo ? 'Tis 
true, Matter is capable both of Motion and 
Reff ^ yet to conceive it undivided, undiverfi- 
iied and unniov'd, is certainly a more fimple 
Notion, tlian to conceive it divided and mov'd ; 
and this being firft in Order of Nature, and 
an adequate Conception too, we ought to en- 
quire and give our felves an Account ho^ it 
came out of this State, and by what Caufes, 
or, as we fiid before, how Motion came firjl 
into the W^orld. 

In the fecond Place, That Diverfity which 
we fee in Nature, both as to the Qiialitiesof 
Matter, and the Compofitions of it, being one 
Step further than bare Motion, ought alfo to 
be a further Indication of the Author of Na- 
ture, and to put us upon Enquiry into the 
Caufes of this Diverfity. There is nothing 
more uniform than fimple Extenfion, nothing 
iiiore the fame throughout, all of a Piece, and 
ail of a fort, fimilar, and like to it k\^ every 
where ; yet we find the Matter of the Univerfe 
diverfifieda thoufand Ways, into Heavens and 
£arrh. Air and Water, Stars, Meteors, Light, 


Concerning the Vrinu Earthy and Paradife. 407 
Darknefs, Stones, Wood, Animals, and all 
terreftrial Bodies : Thefe Diverfifications are 
ftill further Removes from the natural Unity 
and Identity of Matter, and a further Argu- 
ment of fome external and fuperior Power 
that hath given thefe different Forms to the 
feveral Portions of Matter by the Intervention 
of Motion. For if you exclude the Author 
of Nature, and fuppofe nothing but Matter in 
the World, take whether Hypothefis you will, 
either that Matter is without Morion of itfelf, 
or that it is of it felf in Motion, there could 
not arife this Diverfity, and thefe Compofitions 
in it. If it was without Motion, then fhe 
Cafe is plain^ for it would be nothing but an 
bard inflexible Lump of impenetrable Exten- 
fion, without any Diverfity at all. And if you 
fuppofe it mov'd of it felf or to have an innate 
Motion, that would certainly hinder all fort of 
natural Concretions andCompofitionSjand in Ef- 
fed deftroy all Continuity. For iMotion, if it be 
effential to Matter, it is eflential to every 
Atom of it, and equally diffused throughout 
all its Parts ^ and all thofe Parts or Atoms 
would be equal to one another, and as little 
as poflible ; for if Matter was divided into 
Parts by its cwivn innate Motion, that would 
melt it down into Parts as little as pofTible, and 
confequently all equal to one another, there 
being no realon why you Ihould flop thofe Di- 
vifions, or the Effed of this innate Impetus in 
any one Part fooner than in another, or in any 
Part indeed till it was divided as much as was 
poflible : Wherefore upon this Principles or in 

D d 4 this 

;^o8 The Tl^sory of the Earth. 
this Method, all the Matter of the Univerfe 
would be one liquid or volatile Mafs, fmaller 
than Pin-duft, nay, than Air or ^rher , and 
there would be no Diverfity of Forms, only 
another fort of Identity from the former, when 
we fuppos'd it wholly without Motion. And 
fo, upon the whole, you fee, that Matter, 
"\Vhether we allow it Motion, or no Motion, 
couid not con^e into that Variety of Tempers 
and Compositions in which we find it in the 
World, without the Influence and Diredion of 
k fuperior external Caufe, which we call the 
Author of Nature. 

But there is ftill a further and ftronger Ar- 
gument from this Head, if we confider not on- 
ly the Diverfity of Bodies that the Mafs of 
Matter is cut into, but alfo that that Diverfity 
is regular^ and in fome Parts of it admirably 
artful and ingenious. This will not only lead 
lis to an Author of Nature, but to fuch an 
Author as hath Wifdom as well as Power* 
Matter is a brute Being, ftupid and fenfelefs ; 
andtho' we ihould fuppofe it to have a Force 
to move it felf, yet that it fliould be able to 
meditate and confult, and take its Meafures 
how to frame a World, a regular and beauti- 
ful Strufture, confiding of fuch and fuch Parts 
•and Hegions, and adapted to fuch and fuch 
PurpOies, this would be too extravagant to 
imagine j to allow it not only Motion from 
it felf, but Wit and Judgment too ; and that 
before it came into any organical or animate 

Concc^-ning the Trim. Earthy arid Paradife. 409 
You'll fay, it may be, the Frame of the 
World was not the Refult of Counfei and Con- 
fultation, but of NeccJJity j Matter being once 
in Motion under the ConduiS of thofe Laws 
that are edential to it, it wrought it felf by 
Degrees from one State into another, till at 
length it came into the prefent Form which 
we call the World. Thefe are Words thrown 
out at Random , without any Pretence of 
Ground, only to fee if they can be confuted 5 
and fo tliey may eafily be ; for we have 
fliown already, that if Matter had innate Mo-, 
tion, it would be fo far from running into the 
orderly and well difpos'd Frame of the World, 
that it would run into no Frame at all, into no 
Forms or Compofitions, or Diveriity of Bo- 
dies j but would either be all fluid, or all fo- 
lid ; either every fingle Particle in a feparate 
Motion, or all in one continued Mafs, with an 
univerfal Tremor, or Inclination to move with- 
out adual Separation j and either of thefe two 
States is far from the Form of a World. Se^ 
condly, As to the Laws of Motion, as fome 
of them are effential to Matter, fo others are 
not demonftrable, but upon Suppofition of aa 
Author of Nature. And thirdly, Tho' all 
the Laws of Motion be admitted, they can- 
pot bring Matter into the Form of a World, 
linlefs fome Meafures be taken at firft by an 
intelligent Beings I fay, fome Meafures be 
taken to determine the primary Motions upon 
which the reft depend, and to put them in ^ 
Way that leads to the Formation of a World. 
The Mafs muft be divided into Regions, and 


410 The Theory of the Ear t ff; 

Centers fixt, and Motions appropriated to 
them j and it miift be confider'd of what Mag- 
nitude the firft Bodies^ or the firft Divifions of 
Matter fliould be^ and how mov'd : Befides, 
there muft be a determinate Proportion, and 
certain Degree of Motion impreft upon the 
univerfal Matter, to qualify it for the Pro- 
duSion of a World ; if tlie Dofe was either 
too ftrong or too weak, the Work would mif- 
carry ^ and nothing but infinite Wifdom could 
fee thro' the Effeds of every Proportion, or 
every new Degree of Motion, and difcern 
which was beft for the Beginning, Progrefs, 
and Perfedion of a World. So you fee the 
Author of Nature is no Way excluded, or 
made ufelefs by the Laws of Motion j nor if 
Matter was promifcuoufly mov'd, would thefe 
be fufficient Caufes of themfelves to produce 
a World, or that regular Diverfity of Bodies 
that compofe it. 

But 'tis hard to fatisfy Men againft their In- 
clinations, or their Intereft : And as the Re- 
gularity of the Univerfe was always a great 
Stumbling-ftone to the- Epicureans -, fo they 
have endeavour'd to make Shifts of all Sorts to 
give an Account and Anfwer to it,without Re- 
courfe to an intelligent Principle ; and for their 
laft Refuge, they Hiy, that Chance might bring 
that to pafs, which Nature and Neceflity could 
not do y the Atoms might hit upon a lucky 
Set of Motions, which, tho' it were cafual 
and fortuitous, might happily lead them to 
the forming of a World. A lucky hit indeed, 
for Chance to frame a World : But this is a 


ConceY72rng tfk Vrhn. Earthy and Pnradife, 41 1' 
iTk^re Shuffle and Collufion ; for if there was 
nothing in Nature but Matter, there could be 
no fuch Thing as Chance^ all would be pure 
'Mechanical Necejfjtty ; and fo this Anfwer, tho' 
it feem very diiferent, is the fame in effeiS 
with the former, and Epicurus with his Ato- 
miftsare oblig'd to give a juft mechanical Ac- 
count, how all the Parts of Nature, the mod 
compound and elaborate Parts not excepted^rife 
from their Atoms by pure NeceiTityiThere could 
be no accidentalConcourfe orCoalition of them, 
every Step, every Motion, every Com pofit ion 
was fatal and neceffary, and therefore 'tis Non- 
fenfe for an Epicurean to talk of Chance, as 
Chance is oppos'd to Necefiity , and if they 
oppofe it to Coimfel and Wifdorn^ 'tis little bet- 
ter than Nonfenfe, to fiy the World and all 
its Furniture rofe by Chance, in that Notion of 
it. But it will deferve our Patience a little 
to give a more full and diftind Anfwer to this, 
feeing it reacheth all their Pleas and Evafions 
at once. 

What Proof or Demonftration of Wifdoni 
;ind Counfel can be given, or can be defir'd, 
that is not found in fome Part of the World, 
animate or inanimate ? We know but a little 
Portion of the Univerfe, a mere Point in Com- 
parifon, and a broken Point too ; and yet in 
this broken Point, or fome fmall Parcels of it, 
there is m;Ore of Art, Counfel and Wifdom 
fliown, than in all the Woiks of Men taken 
together, or than in all our Artificial World. 
In the Ccnftrudion of the Body of an Ani- 
mal, tliCre is more of Thought and Contri- 

412 The Theory of the E a n t h; 
vance, more of exquifite Invention, and. f^t 
DUpofition of Parts, than is in all the Tem- 
ples, Palaces, Ships, Theatres, or any other 
Pieces of Architedure the World ever yet 
faw : And not Architeiiure only, but ail other 
Mechanifm whatfoever. Engines, Clock-work, 
or any other, is not comparable to the Body 
of a living Creature. Seeing then we acknow- 
ledge thele artificial Works, wherefoever we 
meet with them, to be the E&£ts of Wit, 
Underftanding and Reafon, is it not manifeft 
Partiality, or Stupidity rather, to deny the 
Works of Nature, which excel thefe in all 
Degrees, to proceed from an intelligent Prin- 
ciple ? Let them take any Piece of humane 
Art, or any Machine fram'd by the Wit of 
Man, and compare it with the Body of an 
Animal, either for Diverfity and Multiplicity 
of Workmanfhip, or Curiofity in the minute 
Parts, or juft Connexion and Dependance of 
one Thing upon another, or fit Subferviency 
to the Ends proposed, of Life, Motion, Ufe 
and Ornament to the Creature , and if in all 
thefe Refped:s they find it fuperior to any 
Work of humane Produd.ion, (as they certain- 
ly muft do) why fliould it be thought to pro- 
ceed from inferior and fenfelefs Caufes ? ought 
we not in this, as well as in other Things, to 
proportion the Caufes to the Effedl, and to 
Ipeak Truth, and bring in an honelt Verdid 
for Nature as well as Art ? 

In the Compofition of a perfect Animal, 
there are four feveral Frames or Compages 
join'd together, the natural, vital, animal and 

genital : 

Concerning the Trim, Earthy andVaradife. 41 j 
genital : Let them examine any one of thefe 
apart, and try if they can find any Thing de- 
fedive or fuperfluous , or any Way inept fof 
Matter or Form* Let them view the whole 
Compages of the Bones , and efpecially the 
admirable Conftrudion, Texture, and Difpo- 
fition of the Mufcles, which are join'd with 
them for moving the Body, or its Parts. Let 
them take an Account of the little Pipes and 
Conduits for the Juices and the Liquors, of 
their Form and Diftribution ; or let them take 
any fingle Organ to examine, as the Eye, or 
the Ear, the Hand, or the Heart : In each of 
thefe they may difcover fuch Arguments of 
Wifdom, and of Art, as will either convince 
them, or confound them ; tho' ftill they muft 
leave greater undilcover'd. We know little 
the infenfible Form and Contexture of the 
Parts of the Body, nor the juft Method of 
their Adion : We know not yet the Manner, 
Order and Caufes of the Motion of the Heart, 
which h the chief Spring of the whole Ma- 
chine j and with how little Exadnefs do we 
underftand the Brain, and the Parts belonging 
to it ? Why of that Temper and of that Form : 
How Motions are propagated there, and how 
conferv'd : How they anfwer the feveral Ope- 
rations of the Mind : Why fuch little Difcom- 
pofures of it difmrb our Senfes, and upon 
what little Differences in this the great Diffe- 
rences of Wirs and Genius's depend. Yet 
feeing in all thefe Organs, whofe Make and 
Manner of Action we cannot diicover, we fee 
however by the Effeds, that they are truly 


414 ^^^ Theory of the E a r t h. 
fitted for thofe Offices to which Nature hath 
defign'd them, we ought in Reafon to admire 
that Art which we cannot penetrate. At leaft 
we cannot but judge it a Thing abfiird, that 
what we have not Wit enough to find out or 
comprehend, we fliould not allow to be an 
Argument of Wit and Underftanding in the 
Author, or Inventor of it. This would be 
againft all Logick, comn\on Senfe, and com- 
mon Decoru?n. Neither do I think it poflible 
to the Mind of Man, while we attend to Evi- 
dence, to believe that thefe, and fuch like; 
Works of Nature came by Chance^ as they 
call it, or without Providence, Forecaft and 
Wifdom, either in the firft Caufes, or in the 
proximate; in the Defign, or in the Execu- 
tion J in the Preparation to them, or in the R- 
nifliing of them. 

Wherefore, in my Judgment, if any be of 
this Perfuafion, it cannot be fo much the Effed 
of their Underftanding, as of their Difpolition 
and Inclination j and in moral Things, Mens 
Opinions do as often fpring from the one, as 
from the other. For my Part, I do generally 
diftinguifh of two Sorts of Opinions in all 
Men, Inclination-opnions^ and Reafon d-opimons; 
Opinions that grow upon Mens Complexions, 
and Opinions that are the Refults of their 
Reafon ; and I meet with very few that are of 
a Temperament fo equal, or a Conftitution fo 
even pois'd, but that they incline to one Set of 
Opinions rather than another, antecedently to 
all Proofs of Reafon : And when they have 
efpous'd their Opinions from that fecret Sym- 

Concerning the Prim. Earthy, and Paradife. 415 
pathy, then they find out as good Reafons as 
they can to maintain them, and fay, nay think 
fometimes, that 'twas for the fake of thofe 
Reafons that they firfl: embrac'd them. We 
may commonly diftinguifli thefe Inclination- 
opinions from the rational, becaufe we find 
them accompanied with more Heat than Light, 
a great deal of Eagernefs and Impatience in 
defending of them, and but flender Arguments. 
One might give Inftances of this, both in Seds 
of Religion and Philofophy, in Platonifts^ Sto- 
ichy and Epicurcam^ that are fo by their Tem- 
per more than their Reafon -, but to our Pur- 
pofe it will be fufficient to inftance in one 
hearty Epicurean^ Lticretius^ who is manifeftly 
fuch, more from his Inclination, and the Bent 
of his Spirit, than from the Force of Argu- 
ment. For tho' his Suppofitions be very pre- 
carious , and his Reafonings all along very 
flight, he will many times ftrut and triumph, 
as if he had wrefted the Thunder out of Jo've*s 
right Hand ; and a Mathematician is not 
more confident of his Demonftration, than 
he feems to be of the Truth of his flial- 
iow Philofophy. From fuch a Principle of na- 
tural Complexion as this, I allow a Man may 
be atheiftical, but never from the calm Dic- 
tate of his Reafon ; yet he may be as confident 
and as tenacious of his Conclufion, as if he 
had a clear and diftind Evidence for it. For I 
take it to be a true Maxim in humane Nature, 
that a firong Inclination^ with a little E'^oideme^ 
is equivale?2t to a firong Evidence. And therefore 
we are not to be furpri^'d if we find Men con- 

i^i6 The Theory of the E a r t hJ 
fident in their Opinions many times far he^ 
yond the Degree of their Evidence, feeing 
there are otner Things, befides Evidence, that 
incline the Will to one Conclufion rather than 
another. And as I have inftanc'd in natural 
Complexion, fo Intereft hath the fame Effeft 
upon humane Nature, becaufe it always begets 
an Inclination to thofe Opinions that favour 
our Intereft, and a Diiinclination to the con- 
trary : And this Principle may be another In- 
gredient, and fecret Perfuafive to Atheifm^ 
for when Men have run themfelves fo deep in- 
to Vice and Immorality, that they exped: no 
Benefit from a God, 'tis in a Manner neceflary 
to their Quiet, and the Eafe of their Mind, that 
they fliould fancy there is none ; for they are 
afraid, if there be a God, that he will not 
ftand neuter, and let them alone in another 
World. This, I fay, is necelfary to the Quiet 
of their Mind, unlefs they can attain that 
great Art, which many labour after, of Non- 
refieCtion^ or an unthinking Faculty^ as to God 
and a World to come. But to return to our 

Argument, after this fliort Digreflion 

And as that regular Diverfity which we fee 
in the Forms of Nature, and efpecrally in 
the Bodies of Animals, could not be from any 
blind Principle either of Neceflity or of Chance ,- 
fo in the laft Place, that Subordination which 
we fee in the Parts of Nature, and Subfer- 
viency to one another, the lefs Noble to the 
more Noble, the Inanimate to the Animate, 
and all Things upon Earth unto Man, muft 
needs have been the Effe<5l of fome Being 


Concerning the Prhn. Earthy andParndife, 417 
higher than Matter, that did wifely difpofe 
all Things fo at firft, and doth ftill conferva 
them in the fame Order. If Man had been 
born into the World, and a numerous Hoft of 
Creatures, without any Provifion or Accom- 
modation made for their Subfiftence and Con- 
veniences, we might have fufpefted that. they 
had come by Chance, and therefore were fo 
ill provided for : but which of them can com- 
plain ? through their various Kinds and Orders, 
what is there awanting ? They are all fitted 
to their feveral Elements, and their ways of 
living. Birds, Beafts, and Filhes, both by the 
Form and Shape of their Bodies, the manner 
of their Covering, and the Quality of their 
Food. Befides, they are inftruded in little 
Arts and Inftinds for their Confervation j and 
not only for their proper Confervation, but alfa 
to find a way to make and bring up young ones, 
and leave behind them a Pofterity r And all 
this in fo fit a Method, and by fueh a pretty 
Train of Adions, as is really admirable. 

Man is the Mafter of all, and of him a dou- 
ble Care is taken ,• thoj: he Ihould neither 
want what Nature can afford, nor what Art 
can fupply. He could not be provided of all 
Conveniences by Nature only, efpecially to 
fecure him againfl: the Injuries of the Air ; but 
in recompence. Nature hath provided Mate- 
rials for all thofe Arts which flie faw would be 
needful in humane Life, as Building, Cloath-* 
ing. Navigation^ Agriculture, (jc. that fo Man- 
kind might have both wherewithal to anfvver 
their Occafions, and alfo to employ their time. 

Book II. E e and 

41 8 The Theory of the Earth; 
and exercife their Ingenuity. This Oeconomy 
of Nature, as I may call it, or well ordering 
of the great Family of living Creatures, is an 
Argument both of Goodnefs and of Wifdom, 
and is every way far above the Powers of Brute 
Matter. All regular Adminiftration we 
afcribe to Conduft and Judgment : If an Ar- 
my of Men be well provided for in things ne- 
cefTary both for Food, Cloaths, Arms, Lod- 
ging, Security and Defence, fo as nothing is 
awanting in fo great a Multitude, we fuppofe 
it the Effed of Care and Forecaft in thofe 
Perfons that had the Charge of it j they took 
their Meafures at firft, computed and propor- 
tion d one thing to another, made good Regu- 
lations, and gave Orders for convenient Sup- 
plies. And can we fuppofe the great Army 
of Creatures upon Earth manag'd and provi- 
ded for with leis Fore-thought and Providence, 
nay, with none at all, by meer Chance ? This 
is to recede from all Rules and Analogy of 
Reafon, only to ferve a Turn, and gratify an 
unreafonable Humour. 

To conclude this ^gument ; there are two 
general Heads of things, if I recoiled aright, 
which we make the Marks and Charaders of 
Wifdom and Reafon, Works of Art, and the 
Conduct of Affairs or Diredion of Means to 
an End ; and wherefoever we meet, either 
with regular material Works, or a regular Or- 
dination of Affairs, we think we have a good 
Title and Warrant to derive them from an in- 
telligent Author : Now thefe two being found 
in the natural World, and that in an eminent 

I Degree, 

Concerning the Prim. Earthy and Paradife. 419 
Degree, the one in the Frame of it, and the 
other in the Oeconomy of it, we have all the 
Evidence and (ground fhat can be in arguing 
from Things vilible to Things invifible, that 
there is an Author of Nature, fuperiour both 
to humane Power and humane Wifdom. 

Before we proceed to give any further Proofs 
or Difcoveries of the Author of Nature, let 
us refled a little upon thofe we have already 
infifted upon i which have been taken wholly 
from the material World, and from the com- 
mon Courfe of Nature, The very Exiftence 
of Matter is a Proof of a Deity, for the Idea 
of it hath no Connexion with Exiftence, as 
we fliall fliow hereafter j however we will 
take leave now to fet it down with the reft in 
Order as they follow one another, 

I. The Exifience of Matter. 
.. 2. The Motion of Matter, 

3. T he jufi Quantity and Degree of that Motion^ 

4. The fir ft For?n of the Unherfe upon Motion 
i?npreft j both as to the Di'vijiom of Matter^ 
and the Leading Motions, 

" 5 . The Laws for Communication and Regula- 
tion of that Motion. 

6, The regular Effects of it^ efpecially in the 
Animate World, 

7. The Oeconomy of Nature^ and fit Subordi- 
nation of one part of the World to another. 

The five firft of thefe Heads are Prerequ'i- 
fites, and Preparatives to the Formation of a 
World, and the two lafl are as the Image and 

E e 2 Charafter 

'42 o The Theory of the E a r t h. 
Charader of its Maker, of his Power, Good- 
nefs and Wifdom, imgreft upon it. Every one 
of them might well deferve a Chapter to it 
felf, if the Subjeift was to be treated on at 
large ; but this is only an occafional Diflerta- 
tion, to ftate the Powers of Matter, left they 
fliouid be thought boundlefs, and the Author 
of Nature unneceflary, as the Epicuream pre- 
tend ,• but notwithftanding their vain Confi- 
dence and Credulity, I defy them, or any 
Man elfe, to make Senfe of the material 
World, without placing a God at the Center 
of it. 

To thefe Confiderations taken wholly from 
the corporeal World, give me leave to add 
one of a mix'd Nature, concerning the Union 
cf our Soul and Body. This ftrange Effe<a, if 
rightly underftood, doth as truly difcover the 
Author of Nature, as many Effeds that are 
accounted more fupernatural. The Incarna- 
tion, as I may fo fiy,of a fpiritual Subftance, is 
to me a kind of ftanding Miracle ^ that there 
fliould be fuch an Union and Connexion reci- 
procally betwixt the Motions of the Body, and 
the Actions and Paifions of the Soul ; betwixt 
a Subftance intelledual, and a Parcel of orga- 
niz'd Matter ; can be no Effed of either of 
thofe Subftances ; being wholly diftinft in 
themfelves, and remote in their Natures from 
one another. For Inftance, when my Finger 
is cut, or when 'tis burnt, that my Soul there- 
upon ftiould feel fuch a fmart and violent Pain, 
IS no Confequence of Nature, or does not fol- 
low from any Connexion there is betwixt the 


Concerning the Vrinu Earthy and Pamdife. 42 1 
Motion or Divifion of that Piece of Matter, 
I call my Finger, and the PalTion of that Spi- 
rit I call my Soul ^ for thele are two diftind 
Eflences, and in themfelves independent upon 
one another, as much as the Sun and my Body 
are independent ; and there is no more Reafon 
in ftrid: Nature, or in the effential Chain of 
Caufes and Effeds, that my Soul fliould fuffer, 
or be affeded with this Motion in the Finger, 
than that the Sun Ihould be affeded with it ; 
nay, there is l^fs Reafon, if lefs can be, for 
the Sun being corporeal^ as the Finger is, there 
is fome remote PofTibility that there might be 
Communication of Motion betwixt them , but 
Motion cannot beget a Thought, or a Paflion, 
by its own Force ; Motion can beget nothing 
but Motion,and if itfhould produce a Thought, 
the Effed wQgldbe more noble than theCaufe* 
Wherefore tM Union is not by any Neceflity 
of Nature, but only from a pofitive Inftitution 
or Decree, eftablifn'd by the Author of Na- 
ture, that there fhould be fuch a Communica- 
tion betwixt thefe two Subftances for a time, 
^iz. during the Vitality of the Body. 

'Tis true indeed, if Thought, Apprehenfion, 
and Reafon, was nothing but corporeal Mo- 
tion, this Argument would be of no Force ; 
but to fuppofe this, is to admit an Abfurdity 
to cure a Difficulty j to make a Thought out 
of a local Motion is like making a God out 
-of a Stock, or a Stone ,• for thefe two are as 
remote in their Nature, and have as different 
Ideas in the Mind , as any two difparate 
Things we can propofe or conceive i Number 

E e 3 and 

"/^ii The Theory of the E a r t h. 
and Colour, a Triangle and Virtue, Free-will 
and a Pyramid, are not more unlike, more dit- 
tant, or of more different Forms, thanThought 
and local Motion. Motion is nothing but a 
Body's changing its Place and Situation amongft 
other BodieSjand what Affinity or Refemblance 
hath that to a Thought ? How is that like to 
Pain, or to a Doubt of the Mind ? to Hope 
or to Defire ? to the Idea of God ? to any Ad 
of the Will or Underftanding, as judging, con- 
fenting, reafoning, remembring, or any other ? 
Thefe are things of feveral Ord'ers that have no 
Similitude, nor any Mixture of one another. 
And as this is the Nature of Motion, fo, on 
the other hand, in a Thought there are two 
Thin^'^ J^onfciouptefs and a Reprefentation ; Con- 
fcioufnefs is in all Thoughts indifferently, whe- 
ther diftind or confus'd, for ^Man thinks 
but he is confcious that he thinks, nor per- 
ceives any thing but he is confcious that he 
perceives it ; there is alfo in a Thought, efpe- 
cially if it be diftind:, a Reprefentation ; 'tis 
the Image of that we think upon, and makes 
its Obje<5l prefent to the Mind. Now what 
hath local Motion to do with either of thefe 
two, Confcioufnefs or Reprefentativenefs ? 
How doth it include either of them, or hold 
them any way affix'd to its Nature ? I think 
one may with as good Senfe and Reafon ask 
of what Colour a Thought is, green or fcarlet, 
as what fort of Motion it is ; for Motion, of 
what fort (oever, can never be confcious, nor 
reprefent Things as our Thoughts do. I have 
.noted thus much in general, only to Ihow the 


Concerning the Prim. Earthy andParadife. 423 

different Nature of Motion and Cogitation, 
that we may be the more fenfible that they 
have no mutual Connexion in us, nor in any 
other Creature, from their Eifence or effential 
Properties, but by a fupervenient Power from 
the Author of Nature, who hath thus united 
the Soul and the Body in their Operations. 

We have hitherto only confider'd the ordi- 
nary Courfe of Nature, and what Indications 
and Proofs of its Author, that affords us : 
There is another remarkable Head of Argu- 
ments from Effefts, extraordinary and fuper- 
natural, fuch is Miracles, Prophecies, Infpira- 
tions, Prodigies, Apparitions, Witchcraft, Sor- 
ceries, (jc\ Thefe, at one Step, lead us to fome- 
thing above Nature, and this is the fhorteft 
way, and the moft popular ; feveral Argu- 
ments are fuited to feveral Tempers, and God 
hath not left himfelf without a proper Witnefs 
to every Temper tha;: is not wilfully blind. 
Of thefe Witnelfes we now fpeak of, the moft 
confiderable are Miracles, and the moft con- 
fiderable Records of them are the Books of 
Scripture j which if we confider only as an 
Hiftory, and as having nothing facred in them 
more than other good Hiftories, that is. Truth 
in Matter of Faft, we cannot doubt but there 
have been Miracles in the Worlds that Mofes 
and the Prophets, our Saviour and his Apoftles, 
wrought Miracles, I can no more queftion, 
than that C^efar and Alexander fought Battels, 
and took Cities. So alfo that there were 
true Prophecies and Infpirations, we know 
from Scripture^ only conlider'd as a true Hif- 

E e 4 tory. 

4:^4 ^^^^^ Theory of the Earth. 
tory. But as for other (upernatural Effeds 
that are not recorded there, we have Reafoa 
to examine them more ft r idly before we re- 
ceive them, at lead as to particular Inftances ; 
for I am apt to think they are like Lotteries, 
where there are ten or twenty Blanks for one 
Prize ; but yet if there were no Prizes at all, 
the Lottery would not have Credit to fubfift, 
and would be cry'd down as a perfeft Cheat : 
So if amongft thofe many Stories of Prodigies, 
Apparitions, and Witchcrafts, there were not 
fome true, the very Fame and Thought of 
them would die from amongft Men, and the 
firft Broachers of them would be hooted at as 
Cheats. As a falfe Religion, that hath nothing 
true and folid mix'd with it, can fcarce be 
iix'd upon Mankind ,• but where there is a 
Mixture of true and falfe, the Strength of 
the one fupports the Weaknefs of the other. 
As for Sorcery, the Inftances and Examples of 
it are undeniable ,• not To much thofe few feat- 
ter'd Inftances that happen now and then among 
us, but iuch as are more conftant, and in a 
jiianner National, in fome Countries, and 
amongft barbarous People. Befides,the Oracles, 
And the Magick that was fo frequent amongft 
the Ancients, fliow us that there have been 
;ilways fome Powers more than Humane tam- 
pering with the Affairs of Mankind, But this 
1 opick from JEffciTts, extraordinary and fuper- 
natural, being in a great meafure Hiftorical, 
;}iid refpecT;ing evil Spirits as well as the Au- 
thor of Nature, is qor fo proper for this 

Concerningthe Prijn. Earth, and Parndife. 425 
There is i^rd Set or Head 0/ Arguments, 
that to fom^Tempers are more cogent and 
convidive than any of thefe, namely. Argu- 
ments Abjira^t and Metaphyfical ; And thefe do 
not only lead us to an Author of Nature in ge- 
neral, but fliow us more of his Properties and 
Perfedions , reprefent him to us as a fupreme 
Deity, infinitely perfed, the Fountain of all 
Being, and the fteady Center of all Things. 
But Reafons of this Order being of a finer 
Thread, require more Attention, and fome 
Preparation of Mind to make us difcern them 
well, and be duly fenfible of them. When a 
Man hath withdrawn himfelf from the Noife 
of this bufy World, lock'd up his Senfes and 
his Pallions, and every thing that would unite 
him with it ; commanded a general Silence in 
the Soul, and fuffers not a Thought to ftir, 
but what looks inwards j let him then refled 
ferioufly, and ask himfelf, W^hat am 7, and 
How came Unto Being ? If I was Author and 
Original to my felf, furely I ought to feel that 
mighty Power, and enjoy the Pleafure of it ; 
but, alas, I am confcious of no fuch Force or 
Virtue, nor of any thing in my Nature, that 
Ihould give me necelTary Exiftence ; it hath 
no Connexion with any part of me, nor any 
Faculty in me, that I can difcern. And now 
that I do exift, from what Caufes foever. Can 
I feciire my [elf in Being? now that I am in 
Pofleflion, am I fare to keep it ? am I certain 
that three Minutes hence I fhall ftill exifi ? 
I may or I may not, for ought I fee j either 
fe^nis poflible in itfelf, and either is contin- 

^i6 The Theory of the E a R T h; 
gent as to me ; I find nothing ^ff^my Nature 
that can warrant my Siibfiftence for one Day, 
for one Hour, for one Moment longer. I am 
nothing but Thoughts, fleeting Thoughts, 
that chafe and extinguifli one another; and 
my Being, for ought I know, is fucceflive, and 
as dying as they are, and renew'd to me every 
Moment. This I am fare of, that fo fir as 
I know my felf, and am confciou; what I am, 
there is no Principle of Immutability, or of 
neceffary and indefeftible Exiftence in my Na- 
ture ; and therefore I ought in Reafon to be- 
lieve, that I ftand or fall at the Mercy of other 
Caufes, and not by my own Will, or my own 

Befides, I am very fenfible, and in this lean- 
not be miftaken, that my Nature is in feveral 
refpeds weak and imperfedl, both as to Will 
and Underftanding. I Will many Things in 
vain, and without effed,and I Wim often what 
I have no Ability to execute or obtain. And 
as to my Underftanding, how defedive is it e 
how little or nothing do I know in Comparifon 
of what I am ignorant of? Almoft all the in- 
telleftual World is fhut up to me, and the far 
greateft Part of the corporeal ^ and in thofe 
Things that fall under my Cognizance, how 
often am 1 miftaken ? I am conhn'd to a nar- 
row Sphere, and yet within that Sphere I often 
err ; my Conceptions of Things are oblcure 
and confused, my Reafon fhort-fighted ; I am 
forc'd often to correct my felf, to acknowledge 
that I have judgd falfe, and confented to an 
Error* In iurn^ all my Powers I find are 


Concernmg the Frim. Earthy and Paradife. ^ij 
limited, and I can eafily conceive the fame 
kind of' Perfedions in higher Degrees than I 
poflefs them, and confequently there are Be- 
ings, or may be, greater and more excellent 
than my ielf, and n^iore able to fubfift by their 
own Power, (To riXem TpoVf pov t3 <^mcu rg? ^reXaf. 
Arift.) Why fhould I not therefore believe 
that my Original is from thofe Beings rather 
than from my I'elf ? For every Nature, the 
more great and perfeft it is, the nearer it ap- 
proacheth to NecelTity of Exiftence, and to a 
Power of producing other Things. Yet, the 
Truth is, it muft be acknowledg'd, that fo 
long as the Perfections of thofe other Beings 
are limited and finite, tho' they be far fuperior 
to us, there is no Neceflity arifeth from their 
Nature that they fliould exift ,- and the fame 
Arguments that we have us'd againft our felves, 
they may, in Proportion, ufe againft them- 
(elves; and therefore we muft ftill, advance 
higher to find a felf-originated Being, whofe 
Exiftence muft flow immediately from his Ef- 
fence, or have a neceflary Connexion with it. 

And indeed all thefe different Degrees of 
higher and higher Pcrfedions lead us diredly 
to anhigheft, or fupreme Degree, which is 
infinite and unlimited Perfedion, As fubordi- 
nate Caufes lead to the firft, ib Natures more 
perfed one tlxm another lead us to a Nature 
infinitely perfcd, which is the Fountain of 
them all. Thither we muft go, if we will 
follow the Courfe of Reafon, which cannot 
flop at one more than another, till it arrive 
there ; and being arriv'd there at that fovereign 


428 The Theory of the E a r t h.* 

and original Perfedion, it finds a firm and im- 
moveable Ground to (land upon j the fteady 
Center of all Being, wherein the Mind refts 
and is fatisfied. All the Scruples or Objec- 
tions that we mov'd againft our felves, or 
other Creatures, take no Place here : This Be- 
ing is confcious of an Allfufficiency in it felf, 
and of Immutability as to any Thing elfe ^ in- 
cluding in it all the Caufes of Exiftence, or, to 
fpeak more properly, all Neceflity of Exiftence. 
Befides, that we exiji our fehes^ notwithftand- 
ing the Imperfedion and Infufficiency of our 
Nature, is a juft, collateral Proof of the Ex- 
iftence of this fupreme Being ; for fuch an Ef- 
&6t as this cannot be without its Caufe, and it 
can have no other competent Caufe but what 
we mention. And as this Being is its own 
Origin, fo it muft needs be capable of produ- 
cing all Creatures ; for whatfoever is pofTible, 
muft be poflible to it^ and that Creatures, or 
finite Beings are poflible, We both fee by Expe- 
rience, and may alfo difcern by Reafon ; for 
thofe feveral Degrees of Perfeftion, or Limi- 
tations of it, which we mentioned before, are 
all confiftent Notions, and confequently make 
confiftent Natures, and fuch as may exift ; but 
contingently indeed, and in Depend ance upon 
the firft Caufe. 

Thus we are come at length to a faii^ Refolu- 
tion of that great Qiieftion, Whence we are^ 
and how we continue in Being ? And this hath 
led us by an eafy Afcent to the fupreme Au- 
thor of Nature, and the firft Caufe of all things ; 
and prefents us alfo with fuch a Scheme and 


Concerning the Vrim. Earthy and Paradife, 429 
Draught of the Univerfe, as is clear and ra- 
tional j every thing in its Order, and in its 
Place, according to the Dignity of its Nature, 
and the Strength of its Principles. When the 
Mind hath rais'd it felf into this View of a 
Being infinitely Perfeft, 'tis in a Region of 
Light, hath a free Profpeft every Way, and 
fees all Things from Top to Bottom, as per- 
vious and tranfparent. Whereas without God 
and a firft Caule there is nothing but Darknefs 
and Conflifion in the Mind, and in Nature ; 
broken Views of Things, fliort interrupted 
Glimpfes of Light, nothing certain or demon- 
ftrative , no Bafis of Truth , no Extent of 
Thought, no Science, no Contemplation. 

You will fay, it may be, 'tis true, fomething 
jnuft be eternal^ and of necejjary Exiflence^ but 
why may not Matter be this eternal necelTary 
Being ? Then our Souls and all other Intellec- 
tual Things muft be Parts and Parcels of Mat- 
ter ^ and what Pretenfions can Matter have to 
thofe Properties and Perfections that \ve find in 
our Souls, how limited foever ? much lefs to 
necejjary Exiftence^ and thofe Perfedions that 
are the Foundation of it ? What exifts eternal- 
ly, and from it felf, its Exiftence muft flow 
immediately from its Eflence, as its Caule, 
Reafon or Ground^ for as Exiftence hath al- 
ways fomething antecedent to it in Order of 
Nature, fo that which is antecedent to it muft 
Jnfer it by a neceflary Connexion, and fo may 
be call'd the Caufe, Ground, or Reafon of it. 
And nothing can be fuch a Ground, but what 
is a Perfe(Sion ; nor every Perfeftion neither. 

45^ ^-^^ Theory of the E a r t h. 
it mufl: be fovereign and infinite Perfe(5tion ] 
for from what elfe can neceflary Exiftence flow, 
or be infer'd ? Befides^ if that Being was not 
infinitely perfed, there might be another Being 
more powerful than it, and confequently able 
to oppofe and hinder its Exiftence ,* and what 
may be hinder'd is contingent and arbitrary. 
Now Matter is fo far from being a Nature in- 
finitely perfeiS, that it hath no Perfeftion at all, 
but that of bare Subfiance i neither Life, Senfe 
Will or Underftanding ; nor fo much as Mo- 
tion from it felf ; as we have fliow'd before. 
And therefore this brute inaftive Mafs, which 
is but, as it were, the Drudge of Nature, can 
have no Right or Title to that fovereign Pre- 
rogative of Self-exiftence. 

We noted before, as a Thing agreed upon^ 
that fomething or other inuft needs be Eternal For 
if ever there was a Time or State when there 
was no Being, there never could be any. Seeing 
JMothing could not produce Something.Thereforc 
'tis undeniably true on all Hands, that there was 
^ome Being from Eternity. Now, according to 
our Underflandings, Truth is Eternal : There- 
fore, fay we, fome intelleft or intelligent Be- 
ing. So alfo the Reafons of Goodnefs and Jii- 
jlke appear to us eternal ^ and therefore fome 
good and juft Being is eternal. Thus much 
is plain, that thefe Perfedions which bear 
the Signatures of Eternity upon them, ai^e 
Things that have no Relation to Matter^ but 
relate immediately to an intelledual Being: 
Therefore fome fuch Being, to whom they 
originally belong, muft be that Eternal Be- 
fides, We cannot poffibly but judge fuch a Be- 

Concerning the Trim. Earthy andParadife. 4jxl 
ing more perfed than Matter, Now every Na- 
ture, the more perfe<ft it is, the more remote it i$ 
from Nothing ; and the more remote it is fr6m 
Nothing, the more it approaches toNcceffity of 
Exiftence, and confequently to eternal Exiflence. 
Thus we have made a fhort Survey, fo far 
as the Bounds of a Chapter would permit, of 
thofe Evidences and Affurances which we 
have from abftraift Reafon and the external 
World, that there is an Author of Nature ; and 
that a Being infinitely perfeft, which we call 
God. We may add to thefe, in the laft Place, 
that univerfal Confent of Mankind, or natural 
Inftind of Religion, which we fee, more or 
lefs, throughout all Nations, barbarous or ci- 
vil. For tho' this' Argument, 'tis true, be more 
difputable than the reft^ yet having fet down 
juft Grounds already from whence this natural 
Judgment or Perfuafion might fpring, we have 
more Reafon to impute it to fome of thofe, 
and their infenfible Influence upon the Mind, 
than to the Artifices of Men, or to make it ^ 
Weaknefs, Prejudice, or Error of our Nature. 
That there is fuch a Propenfion in humane Na- 
ture, feems to be very plain ; at leaft fo far as 
to move us to implore, and have recourfe to 
invifible Powers in our Extremities. Prayer is 
natural in certain Cafes^ and we do at the mere 
Motion of our natural Spirit, and indeliberate- 
ly, invoke God and Heaven, either in cafe of 
extreme Danger, to lielp and aflift us ; or 
in cafe of Injuftice and Oppreflion, to re- 
lieve or avenge us ; or in cafe of falfe 
Accufation , to vindicate our Innocency ; 
and generally in ail Cafes defperate and 


^5 ^ The Theory of the E a r t hV 
"remedilefs as to humane Power, we feem to 
appeal, and addrefs our felves to fomething 
higher. And this we do by a fudden Inipulfe 
of Nature, without Reflexion or Deliberation. 
Befides, as Witnefles of our Faith and Vera- 
city, we ufe to invoke the Gods, or fuperior 
Powers 3 by Way of Imprecation upon our 
felves, if we be falfe and perjur'd ; and this 
hath been us'd in moft Nations and Ages, if 
not in all. Thefe things alfo argue, that there 
.is a natural Confcience in Man, and a Diftinc- 
tion of moral Good and E'vil ; and that we 
look upon thofe invifible Powers as the Guar- 
dians of Virtue and Honefty. There are alfo 
few or no People upon the^ Earth but have 
fomething of external Religion, true or falfe ; 
and either of them is an Argument of this na- 
tural Anticipation, or that they have an Opi- 
nion that there is fomething above them, and 
above vifible Nature j tho' what thdit jmnething 
was, they feldom were able to make a good 
Judgment. But to purfue this Argument par- 
ticularly, would require an hiflorical Deduc- 
tion of Times and Places, which is not fuit- 
able to our prefent Defign. 

To conclude this Chapter and this Subjeft ; 
if we fet Religion apart, and confider the De- 
ift and Atheift only as two Seds in Philoiophy, 
or their Dodrine as two different Hypothefes- 
propos'd for the Explication of Nature, and 
in Competition with one another, whether 
fliould give the more rational Account of the 
Univerfe, of its Origin and Ph^?iomena ; I fliy, 
if we confider them only thus, and make an 


Concerningthe Prim. Earthy andParadife, 433 
iinpartial Eftimate whether Syftem is more rea- 
fonable, more clear, and more fatisfa(Sory j to 
me there feems to be no more Comparifon 
than betwixt Light and Darknefs. The Hyp- 
thefu of the Deift reacheth from Top to Bot- 
tom, both thorough the intelleftual and mate- 
rial World, with a clear and diftindt Light 
every where j is genuine, comprehenfive, and 
fatisfadory ; hath nothing forc'd, nothing con- 
fus'd, nothing precarious; whereas the Hypo- 
thefis of the Atheift is ftrain d and broken, dark 
and uneafy to the Mind, commonly precari- 
ous ^ often incongruous and irrational, and 
fometimes plainly ridiculous. And this Judg- 
ment I fliould make of them abftra(5tly from 
the Intereft of Religion, confidering them on- 
ly as Matter of Reafon and Philofophy. And 
I dare affirm with Affurance, if the Faculties 
of our Souls be true, that no Man can have a 
Syftem of Thoughts reaching thorough Na- 
ture, coherent and confiftent in every Part, 
without a Deity for the Bafis of it. 

Book II. F f Chap, 

434 ^^^ Theory of the E a r t Hi 

Chap. XL 
Concerning Natural Pro viDEN c E 

Several Incroachments upon natural Pro^idence^ 
orM'tfreprefintations of it^ and. fdlfe Methods 

' of Contemplation, A true Method propord^ 
and a true Reprefentatmi.of the Unherfe. 
The Mundane Idea, and the unherfal Syflem 
of Providence. Se'veral fubordinate Syfie??n. 
That of our Earth ar^d ftiblunary World. The 

,-Courfe andPeriodsofit. How much of this is 

. ^ already treated of and what remains. The 

WE have fet Bounds to Nature in the 
foregoing Chapter^and plac'd her Au- 
thor and Governor upon liis Throne, 
to give Laws to her Mot ons, and to dire<^t and 
limit lier Power in fuch Ways and Methods 
as are moft for hi: Honour. Let us now con- 
fider Nature nnder the Condud of Providence, 
or confider Natural Pro^vide^ice^ and the Extent 
of it 5 and as we were cautious before not to 
give too much Power or Greatnefs to Nature, 
confider'd apart from Providence ; fo we muft 
be c";reful now, under tliis feconcl Confidera- 
tion, not to con trad her Bounds too much ; 
left we fliould, by too mean and narrow 
Thoughts of the Creation, eclipfe the Glory 
of its Author, whom we have fo lately own'd 
as a Being infinitely Perfe(it. 


Concerning the Vr'mi. Earthy andParadife. 435^ 
And to ufe no further Intrbducftion, in the 
fir ft PlacCy we muft not by any Means admit 
or imagine, that all Nature, and this great 
Univerfe, was made only for the lake of Man^ 
the meaneil of all intelligent Creatures that 
we know of 5 nor that this little Planet, where 
we fojourn for a few Days, is the only habitable 
Part of the Univerfe : Thefe are Thoughts fo 
groundlefs and unreafonable inthemfelves, and 
alfo fo derogatory to the infinite Power, Wil- 
dom and Goodnefs of the firft Caufe, that as 
they are abfurd in Reafon, fo they deferve far 
better to be mark'd and cenfur'd for Herefies 
in Religion, than many Opinions that have been 
cenfur'd for fuch in former Ages. How is it 
poflible that it fliould enter into the Thoughts 
of vain Man to believe himfelf the principal 
Part of God's Creation, or that all the reft was 
ordain'd for him, for his Service or Pleafure ? 
Man, whofe Follies we laugh at every Day, or 
elfe complain of them ; whofe Pieafures are 
Vanity, and his Paflions ftronger than his Rea- 
fon; who fees himfelf every Way weak and 
impotent, hath no Power over external Na- 
ture, little over himfelf ,- cannot execute fo 
much as his own good Refolutions ; mutable, 
irregular, prone to Evil. Surely, if we made 
the leaft Reflection upon our felves with Im- 
partiality, we fliould be alham'd of fuch an ar- 
rogant Thought. How few of thefe Sons of 
Men, for whom, they fay, all Things were 
made, are the Sons of Wifdom ? How few find 
the Paths of Life ? They fpend a few Days in 

F f 2 Folly 

43^ The Theory of the E a r t h. 
Folly and Sin, and then go down to the R. 
gions of Death and Mifery. And is it poflible 
to believe that all Nature, and all Providence, 
are only or principally for their fake ? Is it 
not a more reafonable Charafter or Conclufion 
which the Prophet hath made, Surely e*very 'Man 
is Vanity ? Man that comes into the World at 
the Pleafure of another, and goes out by an 
hundred Accidents ; his Birth and Education 
generally determine his Fate here, and neither 
of thofe are in his own Power 5 his Wit alfo is 
as uncertain as his Fortune ^ he hath not the 
moulding of his own Brain, however a Knock 
on the Head makes him a Fool, ftupid as the 
Beafts of the Field ^ and a little Excefs of Paf- 
fion or Melancholy makes him worfe. Mad and 
Frantick. In his beft Senfes he is fliallow, and 
of little Underftanding ; and in nothing more 
blind and ignorant than in Things facred and 
divine , he falls down before a Stock or a 
Stone, and fays, Thou art my God ; he can 
believe Nonfenfe and Contradidions , and 
make it his Religion to do fo. And is this the 
great Creature which God hath made by the 
Might of his Power ^ and for the Honour of his 
Majejiy ? Upon whom all Things muft wait, 
to whom all Things muft be fubfervient ? Me- 
thinks we have noted Weaknefles and Follies 
^enough in the Nature of Man ; this need not 
be added as the Top and Accomplifliment, 
That with all thefe he is fo Vain as to thifik that 
all the refi of the World was made for his fake. 


Concerning the Trim. Earth, and Paradife, 437 
And as due Humility and the Confideration 
of our own Meannefs ought to fecure us from 
any fuch vain Opinion of our felves, fo the 
Perfection of other Beings ought to give us more 
Refpecft and Honour for them. With what 
Face can we pretend that Creatures tar fupe- 
rior to us, and more excellent both in Nature 
and Condition, fhould be made for our Sake 
and Service ? How prepofterous would it be to 
afcribe fuch a thing to our Maker, and how 
intolerable a Vanity in us to affe^fi: it ? We that 
are next to the Brutes that perifli, by a facrile- 
gious Attempt would make our felves more 
conliderable than the higheft Dignities. It is 
thought to have been the Crime of Lucifer^ 
who was thrown down from Heaven to Hell , 
that he affeded an Equality with the Almigh- 
ty ; and to affed to be next to the Almighty is 
a Crime next to that. W^e have no Reafon to 
believe but that there are, at leaft, as many 
Orders of Beings above us, as there are Ranks 
of Creatures below us j there is a greater Di- 
ftance fure betwixt us and God Almighty, 
than there is betwixt us and the meaneft 
W^orm ,• and yet we fliould take it very ill, if 
the Worms of the Earth fliould pretend that 
we were made for them. But to pafs from the 
invifible World to the vifible and corporeal — 
Was that made only for our fake ? King Da- 
'vid was more wife, and more juft both to God 
and Man, in his 8th Vfalm ; where he fays. He 
wonders, when he cojifiders the Heu'vens, that 
the Maker of them could think on Man. He truly 

F f 3 fup 

438 The Theory of the E a r t h: 
fuppofes the celeftial Bodies, and the Inhabi- 
tants of them, much more confiderable than 
we are, and reckons up only terreftrial Things 
as put in fubjeiftion to Man. Can we then be 
fo fond as to imagine all the corporeal Univerfe 
made for our Ufe ? 'Tis not the millioneth Part 
of it that is known to us, much lefs ufeful , we 
can neither reach with our Eye, nor our Imagi- 
nation, thofe Armies of Stars that lie far and 
deep in the boundlefs Heavens. If we take a 
good Glafs, we difcoyer innumerably more 
Stars in the Firmament than we can with our 
fingle Eye ; and yet if you take a fecond Glafs, 
better than the firft, that carries the Sight to a 
greater Diftance, you fee more ftill lying be- 
yond the others and a third Glafs that pierceth 
further, ftill makes new Difcoveries of Stars ; 
and fo forwards, indefinitely and inexhaufted- 
ly for any Thing we know, according to the 
Immenfity of the divine Nature and Power. 
Who can reckon up the Stars of the Galaxy, 
or direft us in the Ufe of them ? And can we 
believe that thofe and all the reft were made 
for us ? Of thofe few Stars that we enjoy, or 
that are vifible to the Eye, there is not a tenth 
Part that is really ufeful to Man j and no doubt 
if the principal End of them had been our Plea- 
fure or Conveniency, they would have been 
put in fome better Order in refped of the Earth, 
They lie carelefly fcatter'd, as if they had been 
fown in the Heaven, like Seed, by handfuls ;and 
not bya skilful Hand neither. What a beautiful 
ijpniifphere they would have made, if they had 

•^^y^' • . '. te 

Concmting the Trim. Earthy a7idParadife, 459 
been plac'd in Rank and Order j if they had 
been all difpos'd into regular FiL^ures, and the 
little ones fet with due Regard to the greater, 
then all finiflit and made up into one fair Piece 
or great Compofition, according to the Rules 
of Art and Symmetry ; what a furprizing Beau- 
ty this would have been to the Inhabitant^ of 
the Earth ? What a lovely Roof to our little 
World ? This indeed might have given one 
fome Temptation to have thought that they 
had been all made for us ^ but left any fuch 
vain Imagination fhould now enter into our 
Thoughts, Providence (befides more impor- 
tant Reafons) feems on Purpofe to have left 
them under that Negligence or Diforder which 
they appear in to us. 

The fecond Part of this Opinion fuppofeth 
this Planet, where we live, to be the only ha- 
bitable Part of the Univerfe j and this is a na- 
tural Confequence of the former : If all tilings 
were made to ferve us, why ftiould any more 
be made than what is ufeful to us? Bur 'tis 
only our Ignorance of the Syftem of the World, 
and of the Grandeur of the Works of God, 
that betrays us to fuch narrow Thoughts, {See 
the Lat, Treat, lib. i. c. 10. f. 108. 10.9, (3":.) 
If we do but confider what this Earth is, both 
for Littlenefs and Deformity, and what its In- 
habitants are, we fhall not be apt to think that 
this miferable Atom hath ingrofs'd and exhauft- 
ed all the divine Favours, and all the Riches of 
his Goodnefs, and of his Providence. But we 
will not enlarge upon this Part of the Opinion, 
F f 4 left 

440 The Theory of the Earth. 
left it fhould carry us too far from theSub jcdjand 
it will fall of its own Accord, with the former. 
Upon the whole we may conclude, that it was 
only the fublunary World that was made for 
the fake of Man, and not the great Creation, 
either material or intelledual ; and we cannot 
admit or affirm any more without manifeft In- 
jury, Depreffion, and Mifreprefentation of Pro- 
vidence, as we may be eafily convinced from 
thefe four Heads ,• The Meannefs of Man and 
of this Earth ; The Excellency of other Be- 
ings j The Immenfity of the Univerfe, and the 
infinite Perfedion of the firft Caufe. Which I 
leave to your further Meditation, and pals on 
to the fecond Rule concerning natural Provi- 

In the fecond Place then, If we would have 
a fair View and right Apprehenfions of natural 
Providence, we muft not cut the Chains of it 
too Ihort, by having recourfe without Necefli- 
ty either to the firft Caufe, in explaining the 
Origins of Things ; or to Miracles, in explain- 
ing particular Effefts. This, I fay, breaks the 
Chains of natural Providence^ when it is done 
without Neceflity ; that is, when Things are 
otherwife intelligible from fecond Caufes. Nei- 
ther is any Thing gain'd by it to God Almigh- 
ty i for 'tis but as the Proverb fays, To rob Pe- 
ter to pay Paulj to take fo much from his or- 
dinary Providence, and place, it to his extraor- 
dinary. When a new Religion is brought into 
the Worlds 'tis yery reafonable and decorous 
tk^t it ftould be ufher'd in with Miracles, as 


Concerning the Vrinu Earthy and Paradife. 441! 
both the Jewijh and Omftian were ,• but after- 
wards Things return into their Channel, and 
do not change or overflow again but upon ex- 
traordinary Occafions or Revolutions. The 
Power Extraordinary of God is to be account- 
ed very facred, not to be touch'd or expos'd 
for our Pleaiure or Conveniency ,- but I am 
afraid we often make ufe of it only to conceal 
our own Ignorance, or to fave us the Trouble 
of inquiring into natural Caufes. Men are ge- 
nerally unwilling to appear ignorant, efpecially 
thofe that make Profefnon of Knowledge ,• and 
when they have not Skill enough to explain 
fome particular EfFeiS in a Way of Reafon, they 
throw it upon the firft Caufe, as able to bear 
all 5 and fo placing it to that Account, they 
excufe themfelves, and fave their Credit ; for 
all Men are equally wife, if you take away fe- 
cond Caufes , as we are all of the fame Co- 
lour^ if you take away the Light. 

But to ftate tliis Matter, and fee the Ground 
of this Rule more diftinfily, we muft obferve 
and confider, That the Courfe of Nature is truly 
the Will cfGod ; {See Book I. c. 8. at the End.) 
and, as I may fo fay, his firft Will ; from 
which we are not to recede, but upon clear 
Evidence and NecefTity. And as in Matter of 
Religion^ we are to follow the known reveal'd 
Will of God, and not to truft to every Im- 
pulfe or Motion of Enthufiafm, as coming 
from the Divine Spirit, unlefs there be evident 
Marks that it is fupernatural, and cannot come 
jfjTiOm qim: .oWHi fo peither are wC;, without 


442 The Theory of the E a r t h: 
Necefiity, to quit the known and ordinary Will 
and Power of God, eftablifli'd in the Courfe of 
Nature^ and fly to fupernatural Caufes, or his 
extraordinary Will ,• for this is a kind of En- 
thufiafm or Fanaticifm, as well as the other : 
And no doubt that great Prodigality and Wafte 
ef Miracles which fome make, is no way to 
the Honour of God or Religion. 'Tis true, 
the other Extreme is worfe than this, for to de- 
ny all Miracles, is in efFe<a to deny all Re- 
veal'd Religion ; therefore due Meafures are to 
be taken betwixt thefe two, fo as neither to 
make the Divine Power too mean and cheap, 
nor the Power of Nature illimited and ' ali- 

Jn the third Place^ to make the Scenes of 
natural Providence considerable, and the 
Knowledge of them fatisfa(5i:ory to the Mind, 
we muft take a true Philofophy, or the true 
Principles that govern Nature, which are Geo- 
metrical and Mechanical. By thefe you dif- 
cover the Footfteps of the Divine Art and 
Wifdom, and trace the Progrefs of Nature 
Step by Step, as diftin<ftly as in artificial things, 
where we fee how. the Motions depend upon 
one another, in what Order and by what Ne- 
ceflity. God made all Things in Nu?nber^ 
Weight and Meafurej which are Geometrical 
and Mechanical Principles : He is not faid to 
have made Things by Formr and £iialities^ or 
any Combination or Qualities, but by thefe 
three Principles, which may be conceiv'd to 
exprefs the Subjed of three Mathematical 


Concerning the Trim. Earthy and Paradife, 445 
Sciences, Number, of Arithmetick ; Weight, 
of Staticks j and Meaftire and Proportion, of 
Geometry : If then all things were made ac- 
cording to thefe Principles, to underftand the 
manner of their Conftruftion and Compofition, 
we muft proceed in the Search of them by the 
fame Principles, and refolve them into thefe 
again. Befides, the Nature of the Subjecft 
does dired us fufficiently ,• for when we con- 
template or treat of Bodies, and the material 
World, we muft proceed by the Mode^ of 
Bodies, and their real Properties, fuch as can 
be reprefented either to Senfe or Imagination^ 
for thefe Faculties are made for corporeal 
Things^ but Logical Notions, when applied 
to particular Bodies, are meer Shadows of 
them, without Light or Subftance. No Man 
can raife a Theory upon fuch Grounds, nor 
calculate any Revolutions of Nature, nor ren- 
der any Service, or invent any thing ufeful in 
humane Life. And accordingly we fee, that 
for thefe many Ages, that this dry Philofophy 
hath govern'd Chriftendom, it bath brought 
forth no Fruit, produc'd nothing good to God . 
or Man, to Religion or Humane Society. 

To thefe true Principles of Philofophy, we 
muft join alfo the true Syftem of the World. 
That gives Scope to our Thoughts, and ratio- 
nal Grounds to work upon ; but the vulgar 
Syftem, or that which Artftotle and others have 
propos'd, affords no Matter of Contempla- 
tion. .AH above the Moon, according to him, 
}s firm as Adamant, and as immutable ; no 


444 T'i^ Theory of the E a r t h; 

Change or Variation in the Univerfe, but in 
thofe little Removes that happen here below, 
one Quality or Form fliifting into another: 
There would therefore be no great Exercife of 
Reafon or Meditation in fuch a World ,• no 
long Series's of Providence : The Regions 
above being made of a kind of immutable 
Matter^ they would always remain in the 
fame Form, Structure, and Qualities : So as 
we might lock up that part of the Univerfe 
as to any further Inquiries, and we fliould find 
it ten thoufand Years hence in the fame Form 
.and State wherein we left it. Then in this 
Sublunary World there would be but very 
fmall Doings neither i Things would lie in a 
narrow Compafs, no great Revolution of Na- 
ture, no Hew Form of the Earth, but a few 
Anniverfary Corruptions and Generations^ and 
that would be the fliort and the long of Na- 
ture, and of Providence, according to Arifto- 
tie. But if we confider the Earth, as one of 
thofe many Planets that move about the Sun, 
and the Sun as one of thofe innumerable fix'd 
Stars that adorn the Univerfe, and are the 
Centers of its greateft Motions ^ and all this 
fubjeft to Fate and Change, to Corruptions 
and Renovations : This opens a large Field for 
our Thoughts, and gives a large Subjedi: for 
the Exercife and Expanfion of the Divine Wif- 
dom and Power, and for the Glory of his 

In the lajl Place ^ Having thus prepar'd your 
Mind, and the Subject, for the Contempla- 


Concerning theVr'mt. 'Earthy andParadife, 44 j 
tion of Natural Pro'videncCj do not content 
your felf to confider only the prefent Face of 
Nature, but look back into the firft Source; of 
Things, into their more fimple and original 
States ; and obferve the Progrefs of Nature 
from one Form to another, through various 
Modes and Compofitions. For there is no 
fingle Effeft, nor any fingle State of Nature, 
how perfeft ioever, that can be fuch an Argu- 
ment and Demonftration of Providence, as a 
Period of Nature, or a Revolution of feverai 
States confequential to one another ; and in 
fuch an Order and Dependance, that as they 
flow and fucceed, they fliall ftill be adjufted to 
the Periods of the moral World ; fo as to be 
ready always to be Minifters of the Divine 
Juftice or Beneficence to Mankind. This 
fliows the manifold Riches of the Wifdom and 
Power of God in Nature, And this may give 
us juft Occafion to refleft again upon Ari/iotle's 
Syftem and Method, which deftroys Natural 
Providence in this refped alfo ,* for he takes 
the World as it is now, both for Matter and 
Form, and fuppofeth it to have been in this 
Pofture from all Eternity, and that it will con- 
tinue to Eternity in the fame ; fo as all the 
great Turns of Nature, and the principal 
Scenes of Providence in the Natural World 
are quite ftruck out ; and we have but this 
one Scene for all, and a pitiful one too, if 
compar'd with the infinite Wifdom of God, 
and the Depths of Providence. We muft 
take Things in their full Extent^ and from their 


446 The Theory of the E a r t h: 
Origins, to comprehend them well, and to 
difcover the Myfteries of Providence, both in 
the Caufes and in the Condud of them. That 
Method which Da'vid followed in the Con- 
templation of the Little World, or in the 
Body of Man, we fliould alfo follow in the 
Great ; take it in its firft Mafs, in its tender 
Principles and Rudiments, and obferve the Pro- 
grefs of it to a compleat Form ; in thefe firft 
Stroaks of Nature are the Secrets of her Art ; 
the Eye muft be plac'd in this Point to have a 
right Profped:, and fee her Works in a true 
Light. Da'vid admires the Wifdom of God 
in the Origin and Formation of his Body ; My 
Bodyy fays he, was net hid jroin thee^ when I 
was made in fecret^ curioufly ivroiight in the 
lower Farts of the Earth ; tki?ie Eyes did fee my 
Suhflance being yet unperfed^ and in thy Book all 
in) Mefnbers were written 5 which in Continue 
ance were fajhioned:, when as yet there was none 
of them^ or beinj^ at firft in no Form. How 
precious are thy Thoughts to me^ God ! &c. 
Vfal 1^9. I 5, 1 5, 17. This Vv^isthe Subjeddf 
Dai'id's Meditations, how his Body was 
wrought from a fhapelefs Mafs into that mar- 
vellous Compofition which it had when fully 
fram'd ; and this, he fays, was under the Eye 
of God all along, and the Model of it, as it 
were, was defigndand delineated in the Book 
of Providence, according to which it was by 
degrees fifiiion' d and wrought to Perfedion. 
Thi?2e Eyes did fee my Sul fiance yet being imper- 
fect^ in thy Book all my Members were drawn.icc. 


Concerning the Prim. Earthy andParadife. 447 
Job alfo hath apdy exprefs'd thofe firft Ru- 
diments of the Body, or that little Chao$ 
out of which it rifeth ; Haji thou not poured 
me out cisMilk^ and cruddled me like Cheefe ? Thou 
haft cioathed me with Skin and Flejh^ and fen^ 
ced ?ne with Bones and Sinews^ Job. 10. 1 05 1 1. 
Where he notes the firft Matter and the laft 
Form of his Body, its compleat and moft in- 
compleat State. According to thefe Examples 
we muft likewife confider the greater Bodies 
of Nature, the Earth and the Sublunary 
World j we muft go to the Origin of them, 
the Seminal Mafs, the Chaos out of which 
they rife ; look upon the World firft as an 
Embryo World, without Form or Shape, and 
then confider how its Members were fafliion'd, 
how by degrees it was brought into that Di- 
verfity of Parts and Regions which it confifts 
of, with all their Furniture, and with all their 
Ornaments. The Idea of all which was 
before-hand, according to Da'vid's ExpreiKon, 
written in the Divine Mind ; and we par- 
take of that Wifdom, according to our Capa- 
city, in feeing and admiring the Methods of 

Thefe feem to be neceflary Preparatives or 
Diredions to thofe that would contemplate, 
with Profit, Natural Providence, and the great 
Works of God in the vifible Creation. We 
confider'd Nature in the precedent Chapter 
abftradly, and in her felf,- and now we confi- 
der her under the Condud of Providence, 
which we therefore call Natural Providence : 


448 The Theory of the E a R T h- 
And as we have endeavour'd to remove thofe 
falfe Notions and Suppofitionsthat lay as Clouds 
upon her Face, fo we muft now endeavour to 
reprefent her in a better Light, and in a fuller 
Beauty. By Natural Providence therefore we 
underftand, the Form or Courfe of Unherfal Na- 
ture^ as actuated by the Dhine Power; with all 
the Cha?iges^ Periods^ and ViciJJitudes that at^ 
tend it J according to the Method and Eftqblijh* 
ment made at firft by the Author of it. I faid 
of Unixerfal Nature , through all the Or- 
ders of Beings in the inteliedual World, and 
all the Regions and Syftems of Matter in the 
corporeal. For, having prov'd in the forego- 
ing Chapter, that there is an Author of Na- 
ture, a Being infinitely perfeft, by whofe Power 
and Influence alone all finite Natures exift and 
aft, we have an afTured Ground to conclude, 
that nothing can come to pafs, throughout the 
whole Creation, without the Prefcience and 
Permiflion of its Author ,• and as it is neceflary 
to fuppofe that there is an Idea in the Divine 
Underftanding of all the Mafs of Beings pro- 
duc'd o#»created, according to the feveral Ranks 
and Orders wherein they (land ,• fo there is al- 
io an Idea there, according to which this great 
Frame moves, and all the Parts of it, in Beauty 
and Harmony. 

And thefe twoThings,The Elfences of all Be- 
ings, and the Series of their Motiom^ compofe 
the MUNDANE IDEA, as I may fo call 
it i or that great all-comprehenfive Thought in 
the divine Underftanding, which contains the 


Concerning the Trim. Earthy and Paradife. 44^ 
Syftem of univerfal Providence3 and the State 
of all Things, part, prelent, or to come. This 
glorious Idea is the exprefs Image of the whole 
Creation, of all the Works of God, and the 
Difpofition of them j here lie the Myfteries of 
Providence, as in their Original i the fucceflive 
Forms of all Nature j and herein, as in a Glafs, 
may be view'd all the Scenes of Time or Eter^ 
nity. This is an Abyfs of facred Wifdom, the 
inexhaufted Tieafure of all Science, the Root 
of Truth, and Fountain of intelledual Light; 
and in the clear and full Contemplation of this 
is perfed Happinefs,and a truly beatifick Vifion* 

But what concerns the intelledual World in 
this Idea^ and the Orders or Natures that com- 
pofe it, is not our prefent Bufmefs to purfue ^ 
we are to fpeak of the corporeal Univerfe, 
whereof we will make now a fliort and gene- 
ral Survey, as it lies under Providence. The 
corporeal Univerfe, how immenfe foever it be, 
and divided into innumerable Regions^ may 
be confider'd all as one Syftem, made up of fe- 
veral fubordinate Syftems. And there is alfo 
one immenfe Defign of Providence co-extended 
with it, that contains all the Fate, and all the 
Revolutions of this great Mafs. This, I fay, 
is made up of feveral fubordinate Syftems, in- 
volving one another, and comprehending one 
another, in greater and greater Orbs and Com- 
pofitions ; and the Aggregate of all thefe is 
that which we call the Uninjerfe. But what 
the Form of thefe Compofitions is, and what 
the Defign of Providence that runs thro' thenx 

Book II G g ajil. 

45 o The Theory of the E a r t h; 
all, and comprehends them all, this is unfearch- 
able, not only to humane Underfl:anding3 but 
even to Angels and Archangels. 

Wherefore leaving thofe greater Syftems 
and Compofitions of the Univerfe, as Matter 
of our Admiration, rather than of our Know- 
ledge ,• there are two or three kinds of lefTer 
Syftems that are vifible to us, and bring us 
nearer to our Subjed:, and nearer home. That 
of a fixt Star fingle ,• That of a fixt Star with 
its Planets, and that of a fingle Planet, prima- 
ry or fecondary. Thefe three Syftems we fee 
and enjoy more or lefs. No doubt there are 
fixt Stars fingle, or that have no Planets about 
them, as our Sun hath ,• nay, 'tis probable, 
that at firft the whole Univerfe confifted only 
offuch Globes of liquid Fire, with Spheres 
about them, of pure Light and iEther : Earths 
are but the Dirt and Skum of the Creation, 
and all Things were pure as they came at firft 
out of the Hands of God. But becaufe we 
have nothing particular taught us, either by the 
Light of Nature or Revelation, concerning the 
Providence that governs thefe fingle Stars, of 
what Ufe they are to intelledual Beings, how 
animated by them, what Diverfity there is a- 
mongft thofe ^ethereal Worlds, what Periods 
they have, what Changes or Viciflitudes they 
are capable to undergo j becaufe fuch Inquiries 
would feem too remote, and carry us too far 
from our Subjeft, we leave thefe heavenly 
Syftems to the Enjoyment and Contemplation 
of higher and more noble Creatures. 


Concerning the Trim. Earthy and Parddife. 451 
The Sun, with all the Planets that move a- 
bouthim, and depend upon him, make a good 
Sort of Syftem ; not confiderable indeed, if 
Gompar'd with the whole Univerfe, or fome of 
the greater Compodtions in it ; but in refpeft 
of US5 the Syftem of the Sun is of vaft Extent : 
We cannot meafure the Greatnefs of his King- 
dom, and his Dominion is without End. The 
Diftance from the higheft Planet to the neareft 
fixt Star in the Firmament is unmeafurable, and 
all this belongs to the Empire of the Sun , be- 
fides the feveral Planets and their Orbs, which 
caft themfelves clofer about his Body, that they 
may receive a warmer and ftronger Influence 
from him , for by him they may be faid to live 
and ?nove. But thofe vaft Spaces that lie be- 
yond thefe opake Bodies, are Regions of per- 
petual Light j one Planet may eclipfe the Sun 
to another, and one Hemifphere of a Planet to 
the other Hemifphere makes Night and Dark- 
nefs ; but nothing can eclipfe the Sun, or inter- 
cept the Courfe of his Light to thefe remote 
aithereal Regions ^ they are always luminous, 
and always pure and ferene. And if the worft 
and planetary Parts of his Dominions be reple- 
niftit with Inhabitants, we cannot fuppofe the 
better to lie as Defarts unenjoy'd and uninhabit- 
ed 5 his Subjects then muft be numerous, as 
well as his Dominions large ,• and in both re- 
fpeds this Syftem of a fixt Star, with its Pla- 
netSj (of which kind we may imagine innume- 
rable in the Univerfe, befides this of the Sun, 
which is near and vifible to us) is of a noble 
G g 2 Charafter 

45 2 ^^^ T^^ct7 of the Earth. 
Charafter and Order, being the Habitation of 
Angels and glorified Spirits, as well as of mor- 
tal Men. 

A planetary Syftem is the laft and loweft ; 
andofthefe, no doubt, there is great Variety, 
and great Differences , not only of primary and 
fecondary, or of the principal Planet, and ks 
Moons or Attendants, but alfo amongft Pla- 
nets of the fame Rank 5 for they may differ 
both in their original Conftitution, and accord- 
ing to the Form and State they are under at 
prefent ; of which fort of Differences we have 
noted fome amongft our Planets, {Book. i. 
chaf. lafty -p. 113, c^c.) tho' they feem to be all 
of much-what the fame original Conftitution. 
Befides, according to external Circumftances, 
their Diftance, Manner of Motion, and Pofture 
to the Sun, which is the Heart of the whole 
Syftem, they become different in many Things. 
And we may obferve, that thofe leading Diffe- 
rences, tho' they feem little, draw after them 
innumerable others, and fo make a diftind Face 
of Nature, and a diftind: World ; which ftill 
fliows the Riches and Fecundity of divine Pro- 
vidence, and gives new Matter of Contem- 
plation to thofe that take Pleafure in ftudy- 
ing the Works and Ways of God. But lea- 
ving ail other Planets, or planetary Syftems to 
our Meditations only, we muft particularly 
coniider our own. 

Having therefore made this general Survey 
of the great Univerfe, run thorough the bound- 
Jefs Regions of it, and with much ado found 


Concernhig the Trim. Earthy and Parddife. 453 
cur Way home to that little Planet where our 
Concerns lie, this Earth or fublunary World, 
we nuift reft here as at the End of our Courfe. 
And having undertaken to give the general 
Theory of this Earth, to conclude the prefent 
Treatiie, we'll refled upon the whole Work, 
and obferve what Progrefs we have hitherto 
made in this Theory, and what remains to be 
treated of hereafter. This Earthy tho' it be a 
fmall Part or Particle of the Univerfe, hath a 
diftindt Syfrem of Providence belonging to it, 
or an Order eftabliflit by the Author of Nature 
for all its Pki£?2o?nerm(n3itma\ or moral) through- 
out the whole Period of its Duration, and eve- 
ry Interval of it ; for, as there is nothing fo 
great as to be above the divine Care, fo nei- 
t^icr is there any thing fo -little as to be below 
it. All the Changes of our World are iixt ; 
How, or how often to be deftroy'd, and how 
renew'd ; What different Faces of Nature, and 
what of Mankind, in every Part of its Courfe; 
What new Scenes to adorn the Stage, and what 
new Parts to be aded ; What the Entrance, and 
what the Confummation of all. Neither is 
there any fort of Knowledge more proper, or 
of more Importance to us that are the Inhabi- 
tants of this Earth, than to underftand this its 
natural and facred Hiftor}^, as I may fo call it, 
both as to what is paft, and what is to come. 
And as thofe greater Volumes and Compofi- 
tions of the Univerfe are proportion'd to the 
Underftand ing of Angels and fuperior Beings, 
io thefe little Syfteijis are Comj^endmns of the 


'454 '^^^ Theory of the Earth. 

divine Wifdom more fitted to our Capacity 

and Comprehenfion. 

The Providence of the Earth, as of all other 
Syftems, confifts of two Parts, natural, and fa- 
cred or theological. I call that facred or theo- 
logical that refpeds Religion, and the Difpen- 
fations of it ; the Government of the rational 
World,or of Mankind,whether under the Light 
of Nature only, or of a Revelation , the Me- 
thod and Terms of their Happinefs and Unhap- 
pinefs in a future Life : The State, Oeconomy, 
and Conduct of this, with all the Myfteries 
contain'd in it, we call theological Providence; 
in the Head whereof ftands the Soul of the blef- 
fed Mejfiah^ who is Lord of both Worlds, in- 
telleftual and material. When we call the other 
Part of Providence Natural^ we ufe that Word 
in a reftrain'd Senfe, as refpeding only the ma- 
terial World 5 and accordingly this Part of Pro- 
vidence orders and fuperintends the State of the 
Earth, the great Viciflitudes and Mutations of 
it ; for we muft not imagine but that thefe are 
under the Eye of Providence, as well as hu- 
mane Affairs, or any Revolutions of States and 
Empires. Now feeing both in the intelleftual 
and corporeal World there are certain Periods^ 
Fulneffes of Time, and fixt Seafons, either for 
fome great Cataftrophe, or fome great Inftau- 
ration ,• 'tis Providence that makes a due Har- 
mony or Synchronifm betwixt thefe two, and 
meafures out the concurrent Fates of both 
Worlds, fo as Nature may be always a faithful 
Minifter of the divine Plpafure, whether for 


Concerning the Trim. "Earthy and Paradife. 455 
Rewards or Punifliments, according as the State 
of Mankind may require. Bat theological Pro- 
vidence not being the Subjeft of this Work, 
we fliall only oblerve, as we faid before, what 
Account we have hitherto given of the natural 
State of the Earth, and what remains to be 
handled in another Treatife, and fo conclude. 

I did not think it necellary to carry the Sto-^ 
ry and Original of the Earth, higher than the 
Chaos, as Zoroafter and Orpheus feem to have • 
done ,• but taking that for our Foundation, 
which Antiquity facred and prophane doth fup- 
pofe, and natural Reafon approve and confirm, 
we have form'd the Earth from it. But when 
we fay the Earth rofe from a fluid Mafs, it is 
not to be fo crudely underftood, as if a Rock 
of Marble, fuppofe, was fluid immediately be- 
fore it became Marble ; no, Things had a gra- 
dual ProgreiTion from one Form to another, and 
came at length to thofe more permanent Forms 
they are now fettled in : Stone was once Earth, 
and Earth was once Mud, and Mud was once 
fluid. And fo other Things may have another 
kind of Progreiflion from Fluidity j but all was 
once Fluid, at leaft all the exterior Regions of 
this Earth. And even thofe Stones and Rocks 
of Marble which we fpeak of, feem to confefs 
they were once foft or liquid , by thofe Mix- 
tures we find in them of heterogeneous Bodies, 
and thofe Spots and Veins difperft thorough 
their Subftance ; for thefe Things could not hap- 
pen to them after they were hard and impene- 
traWe, in the Form of Stone or Marble. And 

4$:^ The Theory of the E a r t h. 
if we can foften Rocks and Stones, and run 
them down into their firft Liquors, as thefe Ob- 
fervations feem to do, we may eafily believe 
that other Bodies alfo that compofe the Earth 
were once in a fluid Mafs, which is that we 
call a Chaos. 

We therefore watchM the Motions of that 
Chaos, and the feveral Transformations of 
it, while it continued Fluid , and we found 
at length what its firft Concretion would be, 
and how it fettled into the Form of an habi- 
table Earth. But that Form was very different 
from the prefent Form of the Earth, which is 
not immediately deducible from a Chaos by 
any known Laws of Nature, or by any -Wit 
of Man 5 as every one, that will have Patience 
to examine it, may eafily be fatisiied. That 
firft Earth was of a fmooth, regular Surface, as 
the Concretions of Liquors are, before they 
are difturb'd or broken , under that SurfiKe 
lay the Great Abyfs, which was ready to fwal- 
low up the World that hung over it, and 
about it, whenfoever God fliould give the 
Command , and the Vault fliould break ,• 
and this Conftitution of the primeval 
Earth gave Occafion to the firft Cataf- 
trophe of this World, when it perifh'd in a 
Deluge of Water. For that Vault did break, 
as we have fliown at large, and by the DifTo- 
lution and Fall of it, the great Deep was 
thrown out of its Bed, forc'd upwards into the 
Air, and overflow'd, in that impetuous Com-^ 
motion, the higheft Tops of the Fragments of 
the ruin d Earth, which now we call itsM^un- 
i tains. 

Concerning the Vtivi. 'Earthy andPamdife, 457 
tains. And as this was the firft great and fa- 
tal Period of Nature y fo upon the IfTue of this, 
and the Return of the Waters into their Chan- 
nels, the fecond Face of Nature appear'd, or 
the prefent broken Form of the Earth, as it is 
Terraqueom^ Mountainom^ andCavernouf. Thefe 
Things we have explained fully in the firft 
Book, and have thereby fettled two great 
Points, given a rational Account of the Uni- 
n)erfal Deluge^ and fliown the Caufes of the 
irregular Form of the prefent or Pofidilunjjan 
Earth. This being done, we have apply'd 
our felves, in the fecond Book, to the Defcrip* 
tion of the Prim^^al Earthy and the Examina- 
tion of its Properties ; and this hath led us by 
an eafy Trad to the Difcovery of Paradife^ and 
of the true Notion and Myflery of it ; which 
is not fo much a Spot of Ground where a fine 
Garden ftood, as a Courfe of Nature, or a 
peculiar State of the Earth ; Paradijiacal in 
many Parts, but efpecially in one Region of 
it i which Place or Region we have alfo en- 
deavour'd to determine, though not fo much 
from the Theory, as from the Suffrages of An* 
tiquity, if you will take their Judgment. 

Thus much is finifli'd, and this contains the 
Natural Theory of the Earth till this prefent 
timei for fince the Deluge all Things have 
continued in the fame State, or without any 
remarkable Change. We are next to enter 
upon new Matter and new Thoughts, and 
not only fo, but upon a Series of Things and 
Times to come^ which is to make the lecond 

B o o K IL H h Part 

'45 S The Theory of the E a r t h. 
Part of this Theory. Dividing the Duration 
of the World into two Parts, paft and future, 
we have dilpatch'd the firft and far greater Part, 
^nd come better half of our way ; And if 
we make a ftand here, and look both ways, 
backwards to the Chaos, and the Beginning 
of the World, and forwards to the End and 
Confurnmation of all Things, though the 
firft be a longer Profped, yet there are as 
many general Changes and Revolutions of 
Nature in the remaining Part, as have already 
happen d ; and in the Evening of this long 
Day the Scenes will change fafter, and be 
more bright and illuftrious. From the Crea- 
tion to this Age the Earth hath undergone 
but one Cataftrophe, and Nature hath had 
two different Faces. The next Cataftrophe is 
the CONFLAGRATION, to which a 
new Face of Nature will accordingly fucceed, 
'New Hea'vem and a New Earthy Faradife re- 
newed, and fo it is call'd the Reftitution of 
Things, or Regeneration of the World, 'Axo- 
iiuTciccictg, lie^U77evB(Tiu, And that Period of 
Nature and Providence being exp[rd, then 
follows the Conftmmation of all Things, or 
the general Afotheofu j when Death and Hell 
Jloall be fwallowed up in Victory : When the 
great Circle of Time and Fate is run j or, ac- 
cording to the Language of Scripture, When 
the Heavens and the Earth Jlodll fafs awayy 
(indTime Jhall be npmore^ 


Concerning the Trim. Earthy and Paradife. 45^ 

MAT we, in the mean tiviey by a true 
Ij)'ve of God above all Things^ and a Con- 
tempt of this vain World which faffeth away ; 
By a careful Ufe of the Gifts of God and Na^ 
ture^ the Light of Reafon and Revelation^ pre- 
pare ourfelves^ and the State of Things^ for th^ 
great Coming of our Saviour. To whom be 
Praife and Honour for Evermore^ 


Trinted for John Hook f; 

1. '*"■ "^ H E Relative Duties of Parents arid 

M Children y Husbands and Wives , 
* Mafters and Servants, confider'd in 
fixteen practical Difcourfes ; with three Ser- 
mons upon the Cafe of Self-murder, by W. Fled- 
woody D. D. now Lord-Bifliop of Ely. The 24 
Edition in 8vo. pr. jx. 

II. The Chriftian inftrufled in the Principles 
of Religion, and Concerns of humane Life, in 
four Parts, ^iz. Part I. i. Of the three Per- 
fons in the facred Trinity. 2. Of the Miniftry 
of Angels. ^. Of the Truth and Excellency 
of the holy Scriptures. 4. Of Religion front 
its Beginning, in three Difcourfes, t/^. the Pa- 
triarchal, Mofaical and Evangelical Difpen- 
fation. 5. Of the Attainment of ^Heaven^ 
and its State of Blifs. 6. Of the State of the 
Damned, and the Means of avoiding the fame. 
7. Of our earthly Habitation. 8. Of Man ; 
the Circumftances of his prefent State, and the 
Period of humane Life. Part 11. i. The Ser- 
vice and Worlhip of God on the Lord's Day. 

2. Our Duty and Service to God on the Week 
Days. 3. Of the Love of God 4. Of di- 
vine Praifes and Thankfgivings. Part IIL 
Containing the Duties we owe .to our felves. 
Part IV. The feveral Duties we owe to our 
Neighbour : To which is added, A Difcourfe 
of the worthy receiving the holy Sacrament of 
the Lord's Supper, with Devotions for feveral 
Occafions. Pubiilh'd by W. Readings M, A. 
in 8vo- pr. 5 x. 

Date Due . 

f^cui rt 

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